The threat of thunder-showers proved to be no bar for students and teachers of Matelot Community College as they marched through the tiny fishing village on the north-eastern coast to raise awareness against the dreaded cancer disease.
Accompanied by bongo drummers, riding in the open tray of a pick-up, the students chanted a song of hope calling on villagers to get tested.
Even the village dogs joined the march.
The event was geared towards raising awareness of all types of cancer but namely breast cancer.
Villagers were urged to get tested since early detection was the best protection.
Cancer has claimed the lives of several villagers in the past and many women have been diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer, according to one villager.
Along the two-and-a-half-mile journey from the Matelot Health Centre to the St Helena Community Centre the children, many of whom wore white or pink t-shirts chanted, “hope, believe, be strong, find a cure and join the fight.”
Prompted by their teachers they sang in unison:
“Everywhere we go,
The people want to know,
Who we are,
So we tell them,
We are the fighters,
The Matelot fighters,
The Grand Riviere fighters.”
Vice-principal of the Matelot Community College Anderson Zoe told Guardian Media that the initiative was aimed at bridging the gap with the community. He said there was total support from parents, students and teachers.
Students from the Matelot Primary, pre-school and Grand Riviere Anglican also participated.
The event ended with a seminar hosted by the Eastern Regional Health Authority at the community centre, where free pap smears and prostate exams were also conducted.