For 2021 Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ)’s month-long annual campaign placed a spotlight on Children and Youth with Lupus. With the average age of onset for lupus of 22 years and up to 20% of persons being diagnosed as children, the LFJ sought to highlight and raise awareness of this special group among the general public and youth in particular.
Annual Print and Poster Campaign:
Once again, arresting images and messaging on Posters and other print items served to educate and promote awareness at Hospitals, Clinics, Doctors’ Offices, Campuses, Libraries and other high traffic locations and included educational posters about lupus, hightlighting activities of the month and how persons could "get involved", as well as educational brochures for distribution.
Social Media Campaign: In keeping with the Youth focus, the LFJ enjoyed continued growth in Social Media presence on You Tube, Social Media platforms Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedInand even Tik Tok, with a reach of over 30,000 and a growing number of followers. Thanks to those who liked, shared and followed to help get the word out about lupus and LFJ.
Media Campaign: Thannks to a range of Media Partners, LFJ Youth spokespersons such as young poet and musical artiste Kianna Jackson, youth board member Umeko Chin and Communications Team member Georgia Johnson, supported by LFJ health professionals were able to share information, Personal stories and even artistic features such as poems and videos to engage all ages through electronic media of radio, television and online platforms. These included several programmes specially targeted for Youth such as Talk Up Yout', Campus Connection and UWI campus radio station Newstalk93FM,. These combined with 11writtend pieces published in print and online, highlighting information about lupus, personal stories and activities of the month, to reach an estimated audience of 700,000 to raise lupus awareness.
Ask The Expert Live: The LFJ's popular online Q & A programme marked it's 1 year anniversary with the first Ask The Expert Live - Youth Edition sponsored by Barita Investments Ltd, that featured special guest Paediatric Nephrologist Dr Rebecca Thomas-Chen hosted by LFJ Rheumatologist Dr Taneisha McGhie-Phillips, answering questions from youth, parents and others with over 100 persons joining in live steam on Facebook and You Tube.
Community Engagement :
In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic and necessary curfews and lockdowns during October, Community participationwas strong as LFJ members and representatives were hosted by community partners such as Church of St Margaret's Liguanea, Bush Park SDA Church Adventist Youth Society and subsequently employees of eGov Jamaica and JN group via in-person and virtual engagements.
Laps for Lupus Awareness: In our second Laps Your Way virtual lapathon, members and supporters used sharable graphics to raise funds and promote awareness while posting their "laps" activity online, culminating in our 4th (and second Virtual) Staging of Laps for Lupus Awareness Virtual Event sponsored by Title Sponsor JN Group. Attendees enjoyed a fun, interactive event hosted by MC Sakina Deer featuring workout with Mr Jamaica Kurt Dunn, Comedy Gamesman Dalton Spence, musical performances by Remarkable Arts Company, while Prizes and Give-Aways added to fun and fellowship.
Put on Purple Fridayscontinued to grow in popularity with members and the public being encouraged to wear something purple each Friday in October, to promote awareness and support for Lupus Warriors, triggering a spike in LFJ merchandise sales.
Virtual Lupus Symposium: The Month's activities culminated in the Foundation's Flag ship event, held once again in the virtual space, under the theme Children & Youth with Lupus - Improving Outcomes through Knowledge and Support. Supported by title Sponsor National Health Fund and others the event was opened by representatives of the Ministry of Health and Wellness who commended the Foundation on its continued contribution to lupus education and care. International and local experts including Key note presenter Prof Earl Silverman of University of Toronto, shared insights on Outcomes in Paediatric Lupus, as well as addressing areas of Kidney, Skin, Treatment adherence and Adolescent with lupus, while a multidisciplinary panel tackled practical ways to support children and youth with lupus in home, school and health care and community settings. Patient perspective was strongly represented with a short film Voices of Young Warriors while attendees were treated between sessions to musical pieces by students of Music House in support of Lupus awareness. Even on the first day off lock down, over 500 persons joined in the interactive Zoom conference or viewed the livestream on YouTubeand Facebook, including over 100 registered medical professionals who were issued continuing medical education credits. Excellent reviews were received on post-event surveys.
View the Voices of Young WarriorsVideo on our You Tube page! Don’t forget to like, follow and subscribe!
The LFJ extends a big thank you to all our volunteers, sponsors, donors, members, supporters and partners who rallied to ensure a successful month, promoting greater awareness about lupus, encouraging, educating, and rallying others to the cause. We believe that lives will be saved and outcomes changed through your effort and support for this annual initiative as we continue the Fight Against Lupus.