OLD GEORGE: Walk To Honour Social Workers In Trinidad

By CAROL MATROO Saturday, August 27 2016

EARL DANIEL plans to walk around the Queen’s Park Savannah for three days, nonstop, without sleep, to raise awareness of the importance of the work done by social workers.

Originally from St Vincent but living for the past 27 years in Canada with his wife and three children, Daniel said he is a social worker and was invited to Trinidad to spearhead efforts in sensitising people to the worth of the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Social Workers.

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“I am just here to set the platform to get the attention of the entire country. I am going to walk for three days around the Queen’s Park Savannah non stop without sleeping. The association would send the message out as to why it is being done,” he told Newsday yesterday, as he prepared for the start of his walk from the Brian Lara Promenade, along Frederick Street, to the QPS. Daniel was expected to have police escort during his walk.

This was not the first walk of this kind for Daniel as he has walked for eight days non stop in 2008. “I have walked from Montreal to Brooklyn, New York. I have walked around many Caribbean countries. I have attempted to break the world record for the longest walk and next year I am going to walk across Canada from west to east. Then I would sleep about three hours a day, and that would take about three to four months,” he said.

Daniel said his walks have not been in vain as he has walked for causes such as suicide, cancer, diabetes, hypertension.

“So yes, it is very impacting because the more we can do let people know what is happening with lifestyle diseases, I think every step we take is very worthwhile,” he said. Daniel said he always prepared one year in advance for any walk with hydration, physical training and mental preparation.

“You don’t just get up tomorrow and say I’m going to walk for ten days. Medical doctors have said it cannot be done for a human being to walk for six or seven days without sleeping and still be with us, but I have proven with good mental control and mind power and synchronise your physical attributes, as well as your spirit, you can achieve anything,” he said. Daniel said he ensured that he received medical check-ups regularly, and ensured that he was rehydrated after each walk.

He added that the support of his family, which was 100 per cent, was essential. “It is important to have the family support, it is very crucial to have your mind be settled. If you don’t have that, it’s like you are imbalanced,” he said. Vice president of the TTASW, Sharon Francis-Gaines, said the purpose of the awareness walk was to raise a community, as well as a national consciousness, of the values and contributions made social workers in TT.

Francis-Gaines said they needed to improve the system of delivery they provided. “We recognise that we receive clients from every spectrum of society from the very rich to the very poor. A client may be someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes who would have had a healthy lifestyle and they realise that they have been diagnosed, and that may have a rippling effect on the family and eventually become a client,” she said.

Francis-Gaines said social workers saw clients who were differently abled, had gone through various types of abuse–physical, emotional, sexual.

“Because of that we recognise that in TT one of the things that need to occur is that we need to have a coordinated approach to services.

We are trying to get legislation in place so that policy would speak to the aspect to us having a licence.

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