Sixth Form student of Queen???s College, Nathanial McClean, is the winner of the Wear the Issue Competition, hosted by the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) and Pompasette Magazine.

Mr. McClean???s winning design of a man standing inside a condom, the HIV ribbon, along with the hashtag #staysafe, and the slogan ???Protect Yourself???, will be printed on T-shirts that will be worn by staff of the BGIS at the 2015 Love Poetry and Song fundraising concert.

He also won two complimentary tickets to the event, which is scheduled for Saturday, February 14, at the Hilton Barbados Resort, at 7:00 p.m.

According to the judging panel, the student???s concept was ???graphically and visually appealing???, while effectively promoting the message of a healthy and safe lifestyle.

???I wanted to paint a powerful picture in people???s mind that would stick with them and that is why I designed a man inside the condom. I thought it represented the slogan ???Protect Yourself???. It was also inspired by the Ebola suit,??? Mr. McClean explained.

???Having the design incorporated into the Love Poetry and Song T-shirt made me feel very accomplished, and I am looking forward to going to the concert because it seems like a nice event for Valentine???s night,??? he added.

The ???Wear the Issue??? competition, which was conceptualised by Pompasette???s director, Toni Thorne, gave school children the opportunity to produce a T-shirt design on HIV Awareness. She teamed up with the Internal HIV Education Committee of the BGIS to execute the contest.

Leading up to the competition, students at the participating schools, Harrison???s College and Queen???s College, were sensitised about HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Interested students then submitted their designs based on what they had learnt.

The top five designs were featured at a fashion show during Pompasette???s Pomp Weekend and will be showcased again at the Love Poetry and Song concert.

Ms. Thorne said she was pleased with the outcome of the contest, and that she loved the concept of the man inside the condom. ???I am happy that GIS will be using the design on the official Love Poetry and Song shirts,??? she affirmed.

Chairperson of the BGIS Internal HIV Education Committee, Lisa Bayley, said she was ???delighted??? to have partnered with Pompasette for the competition. ???It gave us a creative avenue to discuss HIV and sexually transmitted infections with teenagers and to get feedback from them through the designs,??? she observed.

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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