Lead singer of the band NexCyx, Mahalia Philips (third from left), receives a certificate of appreciation from GIS Assistant Information Officer, Aisha Reid (left), while band members (from left) Russell Padmore,??Kris Clarke, Chad Ifill and Andr?? Clarke????look on. (C.Pitt/BGIS)??

Part proceeds from the recently concluded Mahalia’s Corner series will make a valuable impact on the lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS, with $4,000 donated to assist the efforts of the HIV Food Bank.

Speaking recently at the official hand over of funds to her organisation, Manager of the Food Bank, Stacia Whittaker, expressed her thanks to all those who contributed to the cause. She commended the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) for "always connecting with young, creative individuals to … [get] the message out there…When you can bring the message differently, you get [people’s attention]", she said.

The Food Bank Manager explained that the donation would go "towards persons living with HIV and AIDS, as well as those [indirectly] affected. ??So children, also, would benefit from what you did throughout those Friday nights", she said, offering thanks to the coordinators, hosts and those who attended the series.

Lamenting the growing trend where increasingly younger persons were becoming clients of the Food Bank, Ms. Whittaker encouraged persons to engage the services of her agency and explained that "we do counselling, [and] we do testing as well.?? If you are having an event and you want to have our presence there…you can call on us".

Lead singer of the band NexCyx, Mahalia Phillips, who was on hand with band members to assist in the presentation, remarked that "it was really a pleasure working with [the] BGIS and gathering the funds for the Food Bank.?? We always try to get involved with something important and seeing the innovation that [the] BGIS has and working with them for Love, Poetry and Song, it really was no question that it would be a good collaboration and we were very happy with how it turned out in the end".

HIV Internal Committee chiarperson, Esther Jones, lauded the efforts of series contributors, Moden Makeup, as well as members of the BGIS staff who "went beyond the call of duty" to ensure the series was a success.

The series, a collaborative effort between the band NexCyx and the Barbados Government Information Service, saw five dollars from each $20 admission being donated to the HIV Food Bank.?? The series highlighted various themes related to awareness about HIV and AIDS, including the reduction of stigma and sharing the concept that ???safe sex can be sexy’.


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