TOCO Foundation donates 500 bicycles
Friday, October 19, 2018
by Anicia Antoine, GIS

In an effort to decrease the high rate of diabetes, the TOCO Foundation (They Often Cry Outreach) co-founded by Taj Weekes, donated 500 bicycles to the people of Saint Lucia. The International Diabetes Federation recorded 14,200 cases of diabetes in adults in Saint Lucia in 2017.

Of the 500 bicycles which were shipped from Switzerland, 250 will be given to the Government of Saint Lucia for distribution, and the remainder will be given to Diabetic and Hypertensive Association to develop creative ways to make a healthy lifestyle more attractive.

Taj Weekes explained the rationale for undertaking this initiative.

“On behalf of TOCO and the Government of Saint Lucia, I am really happy we were able to bring this here. Saint Lucia has a very high rate of diabetes, so when I was told that there was 1.5 bikes to every person in Switzerland, and people were leaving their bikes by the side of the road, I asked if we could arrange something, and here we are with 500 bikes.”

Newly-elected President of the Saint Lucia Diabetic and Hypertension Association, Andrew Felix, expressed his gratitude to the TOCO Foundation and the government. He stated that it is incumbent on citizens to preserve their lives.

The Minister for Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, Hon. Lenard Montoute, stated that not only will the donation go a long way in alleviating the health problems that in Saint Lucia but it will also encourage a healthier lifestyle and decrease the health debts of Saint Lucians.

The bicycles donated ranged from adult bikes to children push-bikes. Hon. Lenard Montoute urges drivers to be more careful and considerate on the roads with the expected increase in cyclists.

The handing over was held at the Office of the Prime Minister.