Black History Month presentation engages Willows residents

‘It was a success and the crowd was pleased’

With a recent increase in the number of residents who are cognitively well, Willows Estate has been striving to offer interesting activities to engage this population of men and women who live at the Aurora long-term care home.

Teddy Mazzuca, life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Willows Estate, says life enrichment aide (LEA) Azaria Kanda has stepped up to the plate. He has been brainstorming and offering a number of interactive and/or informative activities, such as his Feb. 12 presentation for residents on Black History Month.

“It was a great program for our cognitively-well residents,” Teddy tells The OMNIway.

“They really appreciated the program. They told me things the next day that they learned that they weren’t aware of (before). It did go well.”

She said two of the home’s black residents who attended the program thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Azaria’s presentation encompassed a variety of topics that included legacies and institutions, noteworthy historical figures both Canadian and American, the history of Black Canadian communities and organizational and educational resources.

“It was a success and the crowd was pleased,” Azaria says.

“Because Viola Desmond is the first black woman to be featured on our newest $10 bill, I will be giving away a $10 bill to a lucky resident whose name will be picked,” the LEA earlier told The OMNIway.

“Names will be put in a bowl and at the end of the presentation whoever’s name is picked will get the prize.”

Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of black Canadians.

Teddy says the presentation was an important part of history to share with everyone and she values Azaria’s contribution to the home overall.

“He brings a lot of enthusiasm and he’s always thinking of new ways and new things. I just think he’s a fantastic guy and the residents enjoy him.

“I appreciate him very much.”

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