The Rotary Club of Montserrat is pleased to announce that a hike intended to promote health and wellness was hosted for the 6th grade students of the Brades Primary School. On Friday April 16th, the students of the Brades Primary school ventured to Montserrat’s Dry Waterfall, accompanied by Lloyd Martin, President Elect, Siobhan Tuitt, and three teachers from the school.
This hike was facilitated as a part of Rotary District 7030’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Programme (COPP), and was hosted during the Easter holidays to encourage children to be physically active while exploring their natural environment.
During the hiking trail, students discovered 12 of the 40 species of fern that can be found in Montserrat, they learned about the relationship between Montserrat’s national bird, the Oriole, and the island’s national flower, the heliconia, learned about the uses of the “chainy bush” in capturing drinking water and making duckna, and discovered seeds of the Burr wood tree. Students also discovered and learned about the trumpet leaf that’s commonly used to make tea.
Service Projects Director of the Rotary Club of Montserrat, Ms. Siobhan Tuitt shared “We really wanted to get the children active in a fun and engaging way. Not everyone is physically active in a sport, so getting them outside and learning about our environment in a fun way, was great. The students had an amazing time, and Rotary is really happy that we could offer this hike to help get them physically active.”
2020-2021 President of the Rotary Club of Montserrat, Ms. Linda Dias stated: “We’re so happy that the children had a great time on this hike. Rotary’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Programme is being actioned all over the Caribbean, so this is just our way of contributing to the cause in our own local environment. Childhood obesity has grown at an alarming rate throughout the Caribbean, and particularly right here in Montserrat. According to the Ministry of Health & Social Services in Montserrat, as of 2010, 16% of school children from nursery level to secondary level in Montserrat were reported to be either overweight or obese. By 2019, this figure rose to 28%. It’s projected that by 2030, this figure will further increase, so Rotary is just trying to do our part in helping to reverse this trend.”
Teacher, from the Brades Primary School, Ingrid Osborne noted: “I think the idea of organizing the hike for the students of the Brades Primary school (Grade 6) was a great one. Tackling obesity in children is a health issue that needs to be taken very serious in our community. I know the hike has made the students more aware of the health and eating habits. Being on the hike with the students has given me the opportunity to discuss the disadvantages of being obese. The students thoroughly enjoyed the hike as they couldn’t stop talking about it and how happy they were to go on the hike, so from all of us at BPS we want to say thank you very much.”
The Rotary Club of Montserrat currently has two other active projects within the Childhood Obesity Prevention Programme:
1. Weekly Healthy Living Tips posted on the club’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and
2. An Essay Competition targeting 4th & 5th form students in the Montserrat Secondary School, along with an Illustrated Story Competition targeting 5th and 6th grade students in the local Primary Schools.
The Rotary Club of Montserrat thanked Lloyd Martin and the teachers at the Brades Primary School for their partnership during the project.