Local businesses awarded for their fight against HIV/AIDS
…Dr. Edward Greene calls for a ban of ‘daggering’ culture
Deputy Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, Dr. Edward Greene, has spoken out against the culture of ‘daggering’ that is fast transcending the boundaries of regional boarders.
Dr. Greene called for a ban of this culture during the 3rd Annual Awards for Business Excellence by the Guyana Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS.
Daggering is considered as ‘dry sex’ on the dance floor of a party.
This new phenomena is where a man and woman are dancing in a sexually provocative manner, which usually includes them simulating various sexual positions.
Often times, rough sex to the beat of whatever music is playing at the time is considered as daggering.
In recent times, dancehall artistes ‘RDX’ and ‘Mr. Vegas’ have both released daggering songs in tribute to the newly accepted name for an action that has been present in Jamaica’s dancehalls for many years.
However, Jamaica has banned videos which incorporate the dance move from being aired on its television stations.
During his feature address on Saturday evening at the Grand Savannah Suite, Pegasus, Dr. Greene called for community sports as a gainful exchange for youths in the region.
Walking away with the Business Awards for 2009, were Republic Bank, Continental Group of Companies, Scotia Bank and John Fernandes Ltd.
Republic Bank took away the award for business excellence in workplace programs.
The bank was recognised for its prevention edition programs which have reached over 579 employees and contractors.
Over the past year, in partnership with local NGO’s, Republic Bank also hosted quarterly ‘social issues sessions’ on HIV/AIDS and related topics for employees at all of the bank’s eleven locations throughout the country.
During each session, educational materials and condoms were distributed to employees.
The winner for business excellence for Core Competency was Continental Group of Companies.
Beginning in early 2009, Continental entered into a partnership with the National AIDS Programme Secretariat to support their Food Bank Initiative.
As such, they were able to commit their workers and their products to the cause of providing food hampers for persons living with HIV and AIDS throughout Guyana.
The company began distributing the hampers from April last.
Scotia Bank walked away with the business excellence award for Community Investment.
The bank is committed to a community outreach campaign, which aims to sensitize employees, customers and the general public to the importance of protecting themselves against HIV and AIDS.
The last Friday of every month, the entire staff dresses in branded shirts and seeks to engage customers in conversations about HIV/AIDS.
The objective is to open a dialogue about HIV, in order to break down the barriers of stigma and encourage customers and employees alike to seek out the information they need to protect themselves and support people living with HIV/AIDS in their communities.
The final award – Support for Employees living with HIV/AIDS – was given to John Fernandes Ltd.
Beyond working to sensitize its employees to the various aspects of the epidemic, the company provides a ‘free-to-employees’ medical scheme to all staff, their spouses and children under 16 years old, which provides care and support to those who may be infected with the virus.
Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy during his address to the gathering, announced that the target for the National Day of Testing 2009, which will be hosted in November, will be 20,000.
He told the audience that societies can no longer afford not to recognize HIV/AIDS as a fatal weapon.
The Health Minister noted that had this virus been recognised and taken seriously from the inception, then the world might have been a different place.
The Guyana Business Coalition was formally launched and legally registered one year ago.
The aim of the organization is to mobilize and assist the private sector in their response to HIV/AIDS in the workplace and beyond, by facilitating technical assistance as well as helping organizations identify and apply their core competencies, products, services and resources to assist in the response to HIV/AIDS.