History of the Grenada National Brain Bee
Dr. Francis A. Fakoya who is a Neuroteratologist and Professor of Anatomy, Histology and Cell Biology was the pioneer National Director of the Grenada Brain Bee Challenge from 2008 till 2014, when the Christian Corporation Service (CSC) and the St. George’s Baptist Church (SGBC) took over the organization of the Event.
He conceptualized the Brain Bee program in Nigeria as a grassroots neurosciences educational program, but providence had him to execute in Grenada following his relocation to Grenada in 2007. The Grenada Brain Bee Challenge is designed as a Community based outreach program by the Community for the Community, to raise general public awareness about the brain, brain disorders and research, with hope that it will impact positively on the lifestyles of the people.
Dr, Fakoya succeeded in staging the initial two editions of the event with Grenada being represented at the International Brain Bee Championship for the very first time in 2010; before the curtain was drawn over the program. His desires and efforts were to ensure the continued sustainability of the program in Grenada, which has now become a reality with the undertaking by the CSC and the St. George's Baptist Church.
The Grenada National Brain Bee (GNBB) Challenge started in 2009. In its inception the Grenada Cooperative Bank has been the main sponsor, 2009-2013. We had support from different Business entities on the Island. It is a competition for Secondary school forms 3-5, ages 13 to 18. It is fashioned after a traditional Spelling Bee, except that students answer questions about the brain and neuroscience research. It is designed to stimulate interest and excitement about brain research and is affiliated to the International Brain Bee (IBB) Competition. Activities for the Grenada National Brain Bee competition will however, begin in November with Local Brain Bee (LBB) competitions around the parishes on the Island from where winners will emerge to participate at the National level. The Winner at the National level will go on to represent Grenada at the International Brain Bee competition which has become increasingly popular, recruiting young minds into the biomedical sciences, particularly the Neurosciences.
The Grenada National Brain Bee has been dormant for 2 years due to lack of funding. Rev. Stanford Simon from the St. George’s Baptist Church (SGBC) heard about the Grenada National Brain Bee and thought that it is another great opportunity for Christian Services Corporation (CSC) to reach out to high school students in this country. Not only is it a great way to get students to learn about neuroscience, it is a lot of fun!
Christian Services Corporation (CSC) is a non-profit organization that seeks to foster Christian unity, promote meaningful Christian living and harness the gifts and talents of Christians throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. CSC is not a church but it works closely with churches and other para-church organizations to engender a spirit of mutuality and community. CSC is housed temporarily in the office of One Call Construction on Lucas Street, St. George’s.
The St. George’s Baptist Church (SGBC) whose vision statement is “Building communities which will become the model for winning people to Christ” sees the need to enrich the lives of the youth of Grenada. The SGBC has decided to partner with the Grenada Brain Bee Challenge to supply personnel and to assist with finding additional sponsorship for this prestigious competition. The SGBC believes that in partnering with the GBBC it serves to educate/enrich the minds and lives of the youths of Grenada, be able to reach out to members in various communities through sensitizing individuals of the hidden potential they all possess that can be beneficial to personal, community, national and international development. SGBC continues to work with individuals and organizations in nation building as the Church feels a calling to bring Leadership to our nation through working with youth, adults and the families in “building communities which will become the model in our nation and the rest of the region’”
The Volunteers Working Committee [VWC] of the GBBC is composed of highly respected volunteer members resident in Grenada from different walks of life. They are: