The Voice of Lupus Foundation

A Pillar of Strength

About the VLF

The Voice of Lupus Foundation (VLF) is a non-profit organization established to foster greater awareness about lupus in Trinidad and Tobago. The Voice of Lupus Foundation is founded by Reeanna Harrilal, a broadcast journalist whose extensive media career spans print, radio and television. Ms. Harrilal is a lupus survivor who has been living with Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE) for more than five years. She started this foundation in November 2011 to use her experience of living with this debilitating disease, to encourage and motivate others in providing hope for those who feel isolated and misunderstood.

This group is for the grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, sons, brothers and fathers who lost the battle against this dreadful disease.

Also it is for those who continue to fight and those who have won the battle against Lupus! Together as one we can make a difference!

In meeting our mission, we will work to provide hope, compassion, support, empowerment, independence and dignity to those living with lupus and to their families.

It is our hope that over the next five years, this foundation through our programmes of education and advocacy, will lead efforts to bring national attention and resources to shine a light on this largely medically unrecognized disease. We hope to build support for the needs of those affected by lupus and to elevate lupus to a place of prominence on the nation’s health care agenda.

The VLF on CTV

The VLF is seeking to aggressively conduct outreach efforts to increase public understanding of lupus and build support for people affected by the disease through:

  • national wide awareness campaigns
  • proactive media outreach
  • innovative online content ( and social networking)

We are hoping to go into various communities, especially in rural areas, e.g. Cedros, Icarcos, Palo Seco, Barrackpore, and hold meetings in various Community Centres. To accomplish this we have to approach the various Members of Parliament and or Councillors and get them involved.

The VLF at WACK 90.1FM

 

Awareness of Lupus is the main objective of the Voice of Lupus Foundation. So far we have made guest appearances on two Radio talk show Programmes on I955fm, Project Hope with Williams Lutchman and the other with Natalee Lagore.

We hope to target more radio stations including Power 102, Talk City 91.1fm and TV media houses to make an appearance on the Morning Talk show programmes.

 

 

On the 6th of February 2012, The Foundation conducted a historic photo shoot entitled “Faces of Lupus Project” at Saith Park in Chaguanas. The objective of this photo shoot was to showcase those living with lupus in Trinidad and Tobago and have persons identify with the local Caribbean faces. There are also plans to film a documentary called “faces of Lupus Foundation”, for which shooting has already begun.

We are seeking to create on our website, a lupus community whereby lupus patients in Trinidad and around the world can communicate and share their experiences with one another. This will help with creating that support that is much needed for those who have lupus.

Other Aims of The Voice of Lupus Foundation:

  • To support the sufferer who may be alone and isolated
  • Have meetings where lupus patients can meet in person and communicate with each other
  • To provide advice and welfare support for people with lupus
  • Liaise with the Ministry of the People to provide adequate information about disability and public assistance
  • To publish information on the disease and make literature available on lupus from other sources
  • Distribute brochures containing information about the disease and about the Foundation
  • Use website to target more persons to raise awareness and education
  • To promote the annual May Lupus Awareness Month and awareness year round
  • To raise money for research and welfare support through local and national fund-raising events
  • To affiliate with other organizations and foundations whereby The Voice of Lupus can reach a wider audience.

We continue to lobby the Lupus Society of Trinidad and Tobago for support.

The Voice of Lupus Foundation is also seeking endorsement from Foreign Lupus groups in the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom.

 

Members of The Voice of Lupus Foundation – Front row (L-R): Reeanna Harrilal – President of the VLF, Malti Narine, Marie Donna Butts, Ingrid Arneaud, Maureen Hosein-Ali, Sherina Mohammed, Reshma Cooke – VLF Director, Lazina Mohammed, Valarie Chance, Dana Hinds, Sara Affonso-Smith (not a VLF Member), Dianne Seepersad – VLF Director; Back row (L-R): Curtis Ramkisson, Limahl Theodore, Candice Phillip, Kevin Redman, Sandra Rogers, and Victoria Persad.