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The Catalyst In The Caribbean

My journey into the world of health intervention through simulation began during my time as a missionary, sponsored by Father Anthony Carozzo OFM and introduced to the work by the Sisters of Allegheny. In the heart of Riverton City, amidst the squalor of a garbage dump where families made their homes in makeshift shacks, I encountered a community in dire need of hope and direction. The recurring plea of “Sister, I hungry” from the children echoed the multifaceted needs of the community – physical, mental, and spiritual. Despite various attempts, traditional methods of engagement seemed futile against the sheer magnitude of their daily struggles.

The Birth Of The Simulation Game

The turning point came one morning when, against the backdrop of apparent indifference, a simulation game I had devised was set to launch. With the clock inching towards 10:00 am and attendance sparse, hope waned. However, the early attendees, unbeknownst to me, were the community’s scouts, assessing the worth of this new endeavor. Word of the engaging nature of the game and the tangible rewards quickly spread, leading to an unexpected influx of participants.

One particular incident remains etched in my memory – a confrontation between a woman and her partner over the rules of the game, mirroring the real-life sequence of relationship milestones. This moment of revelation, where the game’s rules prompted a real-life epiphany, underscored the profound potential of simulations to mirror life and instigate change.

Evolution and Realization

The journey from that pivotal morning to the creation of a tangible, immersive world spanned years and continents. From makeshift setups in the United States to detailed sketches inspired by the enchanting canals of Venice, the game evolved from simple concepts to a rich, immersive experience. The struggle to bring this vision to life was fraught with challenges – from financial constraints to logistical nightmares, including the heartbreaking setback of a nearly completed project being vandalized.

Yet, the unwavering belief in the transformative power of this simulation propelled me forward. Collaborations with educational institutions and the integration of the game into academic curricula validated its educational and experiential value. The stories of transformation, particularly of individuals like a young Black man who found his calling within the simulated world’s justice system, reinforced the game’s impact.

“Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

The Power of Simulation

This journey, from the streets of Riverton City to the academic halls and beyond, has been a testament to the power of simulation as a tool for education and empathy. The game has not only provided a platform for understanding complex social systems but has also opened up a world of possibilities for those who have never dared to dream beyond their immediate circumstances.

Reflective Conclusion

As I share this narrative within the “Health Intervention Strategies” section of our journal, it is my hope that it serves not just as an account of personal inspiration but as a beacon for the transformative potential of innovative educational tools in addressing health disparities, particularly within Black Catholic communities. This simulation, born out of necessity and nurtured through perseverance, stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the boundless possibilities of empathy-driven innovation.





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