Winner of the Poetry Competition Angela Smith-Callender (centre), flanked by second place winner Valerie Quintyne (right) and third place winner John Leach.

Auditor at the Central Bank of Barbados, Angela Smith-Callendar, has walked away with the top prize in the??Labour Department’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Poetry Competition for workers in the public sector.

Her piece entitled What Would You Do? urged persons to imagine themselves as someone with HIV or AIDS in the workplace.?? "Tell me, what would you do, if an HIV positive result was one day given to you??? Where would you turn for solace; in whom would you confide, without family or friends sticking by your side??? Tell me what would you do, if your desk was moved to the corner when you got back from leave? Someone said that I have HIV so now a colleague I cease to be…," she wrote.

Second prize went to Labour Officer, Valerie Quintyne, who wrote I Employee, Workmate = Human Being with Rights, while the third spot was taken by Prison Officer ??at the Barbados Prison Service, John Leach, with a poem entitled HIV Infected Workers Have Human Rights Too.

The winning pieces were chosen from some 59 entries, which were judged by Sara Venable, Gregory Fitt and Barbara Sandiford on behalf of the National Cultural Foundation.

The competition was an initiative to commemorate Love Safely Week, which was celebrated from February 14 to 18.?? Its aim was to assist the Ministry in continuing to promote a supportive environment for persons affected by HIV and AIDS in the workplace.????


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