In 2022, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) facilitated several capacity building and advocacy activities focused on promoting healthy food environments that are protected by healthy food policies.
In February 2022, the HCC’s Youth Arm, Healthy Caribbean Youth (HCY), hosted the workshop 'Let’s Talk About Marketing to Children & What We Can Do About It', which aimed to build capacity of youth health advocates from across the globe to identify and challenge industry tactics focused on marketing health-harming products to children and youth. The workshop featured presentations from academic and civil society experts, as well as youth who are vivaciously advocating against the sale and marketing of these health-harming substances all over the world.
On World Obesity Day in March 2022, the HCC, together with The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Earth Medic/ Earth Nurse, The Law and Health Research Unit of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, and the Rotary District 7030, Rotary International, united to reaffirm their collective commitment to work together to address overweight and obesity in the Caribbean. This press release was featured in many media outlets across the region. Members of the HCC team also participated in local World Obesity Day activities in Barbados and supported regional activities.
Make It Make Sense
In May 2022, the HCC partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB), the Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) and the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN), to launch 'Make It Make Sense', a regional, digital media campaign to build support for healthy food and nutrition policies by highlighting conflicts of interest and interference around policy development.
In September 2022, the HCC, in partnership with regional and national partners, launched a digital campaign titled '#ActOnFacts: The Food in Our Schools Matters'.
The campaign aimed to encourage public and policymaker support for policies that limit the sale and marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks in and around schools, while increasing the availability of nutritious foods, healthier snacks and drinking water.
HCC also hosted a campaign webinar which focused on lessons learned around the implementation of healthy school policies across the Caribbean.
HCC also launched three new publications focused on 'Regulating the Availability and Marketing of Unhealthy Beverages and Food Products in and around Schools in the Caribbean', the lead author was lawyer and HCY member, Kimberley Benjamin.
Caribbean Wellness Day is celebrated on the second Saturday in September every year. This year, the HCC, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the PAHO, called on the region to 'Reimagine Healthy Spaces' around three main themes – Active Societies, a Smoke Free Caribbean, and Healthy Schools for Caribbean Wellness Day. One of the activities included a collaborative video which amplified civil society organisation’s vision for a healthier Caribbean.
The HCC and HCY in partnership with the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network, the Jamaica Health Advocates Youth Arm, the University of Technology Association of Nutrition and Dietetics Students, and the youth advocates from the Barbados Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition hosted the first workshop in the 'Caribbean Youth Voices in Health Advocacy Spaces' workshop series which aimed to build capacity and momentum among Caribbean youth to advocate for the implementation of Healthy Food Policies.
In October 2022, the HCC partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB), the Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) and the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN) to re-launch the digital 'Make It Make Sense' campaign.
In November 2022, the HCC and the Rotary District 7030 hosted their third joint webinar, “Communication for Social impact: Communication Tips for Childhood Obesity Prevention and Other Projects”.
The HCC and HCY launched a new resource for youth advocates – Our Health, Our Right – A rights-based Childhood Obesity Prevention Agenda during a panel discussion that highlighted the experiences of regional youth advocates in the healthy food policy space. The resource, authored by Mr. Pierre Cooke Jr, the HCC youth technical advisor, is a rights-based advocacy framework which aims to guide fellow young people seeking to advocate for urgent government action on the epidemic of childhood overweight and obesity in the Caribbean.
In December 2022, the HCC and HCY in partnership with the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network, the Heart Foundation of Jamaica and their youth arm (Jamaica Health Advocates Youth Arm), the University of Technology Association of Nutrition and Dietetics Students, and the youth advocates from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados, hosted their second workshop in the 'Caribbean Youth Voices in Healthy Advocacy Spaces' workshop series to continue to build capacity of youth advocates to advocate for healthy food policies in their local territories.