Cayman’s Red Cross deputy shortlisted for award

| 21/10/2013

(CNS): An outspoken activist who has been the force behind the local campaign to raise AIDS awareness has been shortlisted for a Commonwealth award. Carolina Ferreira, the Cayman Islands Red Cross’ Deputy Director and HIV & AIDS Programme Manager, has been announced as one of the five regional finalists for the Commonwealth Youth Worker Award. The Youth Worker Awards are part of Youth Work Week 2013, which will run from 4 to 10 November. Youth Work Week raises awareness of the valuable role youth work plays in empowering and supporting young people. This is the first year that this award is being offered outside of the United Kingdom. 

“We are incredibly proud of the work which we do as an organization and of the caliber of the service and programmes that we deliver to our community,” said Branch Director, Jondo Obi. “There are seven members of staff, who manage nearly 200 volunteers, five programmes, countless projects, and are on call to respond to any disaster. Carolina has been with the organization for ten years, and to have her work recognized is tremendous,” she added in a release from the Red Cross.

Ferreira began volunteering with the Cayman Islands Red Cross in 1997, and would assist the organisation whenever she was home on school breaks. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Haverford College in 2000 and went on to join the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s (MSPCC) foster and adoptive parent programme “Kid’s Net”.

Immediately upon returning home to Grand Cayman in 2002 she began working with the then CIRC Programme Coordinator to implement an HIV and AIDS Peer Education programme at the high school. By 2003, Ferreira was hired by the organization as the HIV and AIDS Programme Manager, tasked with ongoing development and expansion of the “Together We Can” (TWC) Peer Education Programme.

“The brilliant thing about Peer Education is the fact that it is not contained to a specific moment, or class, or semester,” Ferreira explained. “In training Peer Educators you train infiltrators who can take knowledge, facts and the truth to their peers and beyond. There is no way to measure the impact of one well trained peer educator because the knowledge they gain is with them for life and for them to share it with others- friends, family, partners, children- at any time. TWC aims at empowering youth with knowledge, getting them to think about their options, values and their choices, and helping to make informed decisions even before they are put in those hard situations,” she added.

During the summer of 2006, Ferreira successfully completed a month long workshop at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in “Leadership in Strategic Health Communication”. The knowledge and confidence she gained from that workshop played a key role in the expansion of the HIV and AIDS Department to include social marketing campaigns, such as the “HIV+…until proven negative” campaign, which featured Peer Educators from the TWC programme and highlighted a broad range of HIV related issues, from testing to discrimination. This campaign was hailed as an example of a “best practice” within the Caribbean region at the Red Cross Youth Network meeting in Guyana in 2008.

Over the course of the past decade Ferreira has become a known advocate for youth and youth related issues. Eloquent and unafraid of tackling taboo subjects, she continues to challenge norms and push boundaries that perpetuate the individual’s and community’s vulnerabilities.

Ferreira is competing against finalists from Jamaica, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. The Caribbean winner will be chosen to represent the region at the awards ceremony in London on October 30th, where s/he will compete for the Youth Worker Award against regional winners from Asia, Africa and the Pacific.

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  1. anonymous says:

    Well done Carolina I hope you win, it would be well deserved!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am the poster at 19:15. I am staggered that people did not realise I was being ironic in my post and trying to point out that there is a lot of nonsense about the whole born Caymanian thing. I would have thought that the stuff I posted was so obviously false that people would have realised I was poking fun at it. Jesus!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you should avoid the use of irony, 19:05. People here just don't get it.

    • Anonymous says:

      What YOU need to realise is that posting comments like yours at 19:05 are inflammatory and unproductive, regardless of your supposed intentions. This is particularly true because some people do hold certain prejudices and your post is reflective of how they feel and think.

      Instead of being so defensive you should have apologised for how you expressed yourself. And in the future, if you want to be "ironic" I would suggest learning the fine art of productive, biting satire that will make people re-think their prejudices and the absurdity of it all rather than engaging in lazy, flame-throwing trolling. Or avoid it altogether. There are actually occasionally excellent examples of the former on CNS, but when people do it poorly it only hurts the cause.

      That being said, I am so happy and proud to see so many come to Ms. Ferreira's defence and that every single other comment on this article is positive. A Caymanian is a Caymanian is a Caymanian. We shouldn't care whether someone became Caymanian through birth, through earning PR then Status, or by being married to a Caymanian and earning a RERC then Status. If we decide that someone gets the privilege of being a Caymanian then he or she is a Caymanian. Full stop. If we decide that someone gets the privilege of living here through a work permit or other type of residency, then that person deserves to be here and should be valued as a resident. Full stop.

      Yes, there are flaws in the systems that make these decisions, but let's work together to fix those flaws. Let's all drop the qualifiers of born, indigenous, paper, etc and unite as Caymanians and residents of these beautiful Islands and work toward building each other and our nation up, rather than tearing things down.

      • Anonymous says:

        What a bunch of sanctimonious horsemanure, 9:15, and you clearly have no idea of what "irony" and "productive biting satire" are all about. 

    • anonymous says:

      May this be a lesson, oh ironic one, that there is a not so fine line between irony and stupidity.  Contrary to what you may hear on the morning talkcrap fests, or even read right here on CNS, there is a surprising number of people who are just plain tired of these types of comments that keep attempting to drive a wedge in our community.

      And if you knew anything about this young lady, be it by hearing her speak or by reading her letters to the editor, you would know that this is the exact kind of attitude which she questions and challenges.

      In other words: keep the positive actually positive!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Carolina.  You deserve this and so much more.

  4. Anon says:

    Seriously? Who cares (apart from you and a handful of ignoramuses) whether Carolina was born here or not? When she goes out there and wins this award, her name is associated with the Cayman Islands. Period. Crawl back under your rock, will you please?

  5. For crying out loud says:

    She wasn't born here but she also didn't get her status through the "shameless grants". You really think Makeewa would've given her status, given that she calls him and others on their shit regularly?  Congrats to you girl and you're "Caymanian enough" for me!!!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is this talented young lady a "born Caymanian" or is she the result of these shameless grants of Cayman status over the years. These things are important nowadays if we are to believe so many of the posts on CNS about the civil service and crime and so on. The civil service apparently has only 30% born Caymanians in it according to a poster on another thread and of course we all know that most of the inmates in Northward are non born Caymanians and the crimewave only started with the so called "gold rush" in 2003.

    • anonymous says:

      What the hell does it matter? Here is someone who has worked for years, YEARS, a full DECADE to try to do something people shy away from, and while WE can't recognise the work and someone else on a larger, broader, INTERNATIONAL level does why do we have to go back to this stupid argument??  This is the petty nonesense that keeps this country back and if the good people who are hosting this award knew about this that might be reason enough for her to get it, but it's a really big block to have to overcome every day.  Congrats! Keep doing us proud!

    • SSM345 says:

      19:15, great comment, if you look at the big picture here and not your tiny close-minded sense of everything you will see that regardless of where the young lady is from , through her efforts she has been shortlisted for a Commonwealth Award on behalf of Cayman.


    • Anonymous says:

      it is people like you who should really keep your comments to yourself or shut the f**k up. It doesn't matter if this talented young lady was a born Caymanian or not. She has accomplished more than a fair few of the youth today can say and she in involved with paving the way and assisting the youth of the island. This article is about what she has accomplished and she should be commended

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to miss an opportunity to post a negative comment regarding this lady's birth place. You really are disgusting to bring this up when she has done so much good for the island by raising awareness of an often taboo subject. She has brought positive publicity to Cayman by winning this award and all you can do is cast negative inference about her immigration status. 

      I too am a Caymanian and I would like to thank my fellow Caymanian for the good work she does and congratulate her on winning this award. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The responses to this post show why we need a sarcasm font.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Congrats! Beautiful rep for our country!

  8. Len Layman says:

    A well deserved honor.  Congratulations Carolina!

  9. Knot S Smart says:

    Why is it that positive news always have less comments than negative news?

    Congrats Ms Ferreria – and good luck…

    • Seriously? says:

      Fewer comments and fewer publicity.  Didn't hear a peep about this on the talk shows because God forbid we actually talk about the good that people are doing instead of carrying on the mindless drivel that fuels our mornings!

  10. Foreign Devil says:

    Good girl, I hope she wins.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I love this poster! The young women are so powerful and empowered.  Brilliant!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to you! Funny, for all his talk on showcasing Caymanians doing good Austin sure as heck didn't take time out of the usual turdy tuesday dialogue to even mention this!