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Joseph wants job placement to better utilize his skill set

Joseph wants job placement to better utilize his skill set

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Local community animator Sydney Joseph is calling on the Government to place him at an institution where his skill set and training will be properly utilized.

Joseph, who is also known in many circles as “Pumpkin,” is currently employed as a security guard at the Kingstown Town Board and is calling on Government to place him at the Ministry of Health or at the Welfare Department, so that he can do what he does best — help people living with HIV/AIDS.{{more}}

Joseph, who has received training in this area, says since the closure of the Caribbean HIV AIDS Alliance (CHAA) in St Vincent and the Grenadines in October 2014, more than 15 persons whom he once assisted have died, since there is no longer an outlet for him to help them.

“There used to be people who stopped coming to take their treatment. I used to go and find them, bring them back and make sure that they get their treatment…. On a weekly occurrence, my clients are dying off. I already counted about 15 persons who have died from the close of the Alliance in 2014 to now,” he stated.

According to Joseph, who contracted HIV over 10 years ago, the Alliance used to present his clients with a nutritious package and now, he says there’s no way of keeping in contact with these clients because of his current job.

He noted that he has even written to the Prime Minister asking him to consider his plea.

“When the Alliance was there, I could have counselled persons, speak to them, and even look for social help for them. Now, I can’t really access these persons.

“For one, I don’t have the permission. I have no badge or identification card. Most people know me from TV, radio and newspaper articles. People will walk up to me and tell me about their problems. There is no way I could escape dealing with these clients,” Joseph continued.

While stating that he does not get paid for his assistance, he wants the relevant authorities to do more.

“I really can’t turn away these people. There are clients with a lot needs. There are some persons affected and also infected.

“I know of a husband who died and leave his woman infected, with children who [are] now affected. I can’t really work along with them because I can’t really go and represent nowhere, because I [am] working at Town Board,” he said.

Joseph said it appears to him as if the authorities are not hearing the cries of persons affected with the disease.

“I am watching discrimination in a big way, because I am also living with HIV…This fight I am fighting is nothing political. I want the Government to consider HIV people. It is not dormant. It is not dead. I want the Government to wake up and know that HIV is alive.

“The longer we sleep, is the more people we [are] losing,” he stated. (KW)

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