Through Toronto Public Health funding, the Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association (CDOA) will launch a series of diabetes prevention classes starting next month.
“Peer leaders from within the community will share with our members ways in which to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes which is a looming threat in the Black community,” CDOA president, Frances Del Sol, said at the organization’s 42nd anniversary gala last Saturday night in Scarborough.
Blacks between the ages of 64 and 74 have a one in four chance of developing diabetes and more than two million Canadians have the disease that, if not treated or effectively managed, can result in a number of complications. Every five seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with diabetes and it is projected that by 2025, about 400 million people worldwide would have the disease. By 2025, diabetes in Canada is expected to affect close to 10 per cent of the population.
Del Sol also announced that Kanika Ambrose, who won CDOA’s community and leadership award four years ago, will lead dance seminars for children and young adults and guide the organization’s youth dance troupe.
Ambrose recently took part in an intensive cultural dance training program in Dominica.
As part of the gala event, which also doubled as a celebration of Dominica’s 34th independence anniversary, bursaries were presented to seven college/university students. The recipients were Kalem McSween, Jyvon Samuel, Alexa Del Sol, Carlene Jacob, Justine Johnson, Jesse Hector and Dawndrae Charles.
An Ontario scholar, McSween graduated from Chamindale College School and is enrolled in Ryerson University’s journalism program. The Youth in Policing Initiative graduate was the director of equity with the Catholic Student Leadership Impact team.
Samuel, who placed third in the recent CDOA Wob Dwiyet Canada pageant, is enrolled in Centennial College’s finance honours program, while Del Sol, who attended the British School of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and recently graduated from Notre Dame High School in Ajax, is pursuing post-secondary studies at the Ontario College of Art Design University.
A Dominica State College graduate, Jacob is pursuing an undergraduate degree with a major in Math and a minor in Finance at Ryerson University, Johnson graduated from Barrie North Collegiate and is enrolled in the University of Ottawa’s communications program and Charles – also an Ontario scholar – graduated from Notre Dame High School in Ajax and was the recipient of the prestigious Leadership Award. She’s enrolled in the University of Ottawa.
Hector graduated from Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School and is attending York University. He aspires to be a lawyer.
Dominicans of Distinction awards were also presented to national soccer goalkeeper, Karina LeBlanc, who lives in British Columbia and entertainer, Lazarus Jno-Finn.
Born in Atlanta to a Dominican father and Jamaican mother who both attended the event and accepted her award, LeBlanc has been a member of the senior national team since 1998, when she won a gold medal at the Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Associations of Soccer tournament.
She has represented Canada at four International Soccer Federation (FIFA) world championships, the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and two Pan American Games.
Jno-Finn, who holds a political science degree from the University of Toronto, has recorded six CDs.