April 8, 2020

Cayman Islands DCFS partners with SDA to host Spiritual and Wellness event


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GRAND CAYMAN (GIS) – Older persons, attending the “Faith in Life’s Journey: A Spiritual and Wellness Programme” on Monday, 15 April 2019, celebrated and reflected on the Easter season and its promise of renewal.

Organised by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in partnership with the Cayman Islands Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the event featured a packed agenda.

As well as a cultural presentation by Daphne Orrett of Aunt Sookie & Friends, there were musical performances from local students and district seniors: Roy Bodden, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Barnett and Rupert Ackerman.

Cayman Academy’s Vice Principal, Jewell Meikle, and Genevieve Tomlinson from DCFS welcomed attendees, including a group from Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The opening prayer was by Seventh-Day Adventist Pastor Dr. Wilton McDonald.

Opening remarks were made by Chief Officer for the Ministry of Community Affairs Teresa Echenique.

In her greetings, the DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams said: “Faith is a journey that is often formed during troubling times. So it is then we seek safe places to ask questions that lead us forward… questions about death, about life, about Jesus and pain.”

Rev. Mary Graham gave a stirring message on aging, offering insights into coping with grief, loneliness and loss. She also attested to God’s presence in every situation by providing relatable anecdotes from her own life.

Luncheon and lively round-table discussions followed. Participants were asked to reflect on their feelings about dealing with the aging process and were invited to talk about how to deal with unresolved conflicts resulting from getting older. They were also encouraged to address the central message they took away from the discussions and the event.

According to the Department’s Elderly Services team, feedback showed that many of the 200 attendees had found the discussions particularly useful in helping to form ways of articulating issues.

DCFS Social Workers and Community Development Officers, involved in organising the event and mediating the discussions, also found that the programme had been successful. They said it had encouraged attendees to participate more in communal events and to support each other in finding solutions to common aging-related issues.

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