International Men’s Day Seminar
On Thursday 16th November, 2017, the Office of the Prime Minister in collaboration with the London South Bank University (LSBU) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) hosted a seminar in commemoration of International Men’s Day (IMD) which is recognized on 19th November.
In observance of this year’s theme: “Celebrate Men and Boys,” the main focus of this year’s activities is the promotion of health consciousness amongst males. The seminar held at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) - Valsayn Campus, was geared towards creating open discussion amongst males in Trinidad and Tobago on societal issues and gender roles.
The event engaged males of various ages and backgrounds in the national conversation about what it means to be a man, the concept of masculinity and masculine values. The seminar received an overwhelming turnout of males, young and not so young. Guests included students from a number of training centres, secondary and tertiary level educational institutions; the Trinidad and Tobago Diagnostic Research Educational and Therapeutic Centre for the Hearing Impaired (DRETCHI) as well as professionals in areas such as health care, academia and civil society organizations. Representatives from the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force’s (TTDF): Regiment/Army, the Coast Guard and the Air Guard along with prison officers were also in attendance.
The feature address was presented by the Honourable Dr. Lovell Francis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education. A presentation and discussion session was led by presenters including social activist Mr. Kevin Liverpool; Dr. Osca Ocho, Director, UWI School of Nursing at the University of the West Indies; Dr. Varma Deyalsingh, Association of Psychiatrists of Trinidad and Tobago and Dr. Calvin Moorley, Associate Professor at the Adult Nursing Department, London South Bank University. A short edutainment piece was performed by representatives of the Rapport.
The discourse was structured around societal pressures that plague men in our society and implementing ways of accessing help. Topics discussed included: the process of fathering, life skills training, physical health factors, mental illness, stereotypes, domestic violence, paternity leave, education, unemployment and other transpiring societal issues including increased crime, suicide and alcoholism.
Throughout the event, participants were engaged and allowed to ask questions and provide feedback on their own perspectives. They were encouraged to seek assistance and counselling if they are in need. Attendees and students at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) were welcomed to engage with numerous information booths related to men’s health and wellness. These stakeholders included organizations targeting men’s issues and welfare namely the St. Joseph Police Youth Club, the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, the Ministry of Health, and the Gender Affairs Division from the Office of the Prime Minster.
The Office of the Prime Minister wishes to thank the London South Bank University (LSBU) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) and all those who supported this venture. The Office of the Prime Minister through its Gender Affairs Division will also be engaging in a Health Caravan at Harris Promenade, San Fernando and International Men’s Day Roundtable Discussion at the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) on Friday 17th November 2017 as part of it’ IMD commemorative activities.
Dr. The Honourable Lovell Francis, M.P., Minister of State in the Ministry of Education during his delivery of the Feature Address at the IMD Seminar.
Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh, Ph.D., Lecturer at the University of the West Indies and founder of International Men’s Day receives a lapel pin from Ms. Gia Gaspard Taylor, President of the Network of Rural Women Producers (NRW).
Presenters: (L-R) Dr. Varma Deyalsingh, Association of Psychiatrists of Trinidad and Tobago; Mr. Kevin Liverpool, Social Activist; Dr. Calvin Moorley, Associate Professor, Adult Nursing Dept, London South Bank University and Dr.Osca Ocho, Director, UWI School of Nursing, The University of the West Indies.
Dr. Osca Ocho (Director, UWI School of Nursing, The University of the West Indies) engages attendees.