Nintendo’s Wii has been praised for its action-packed array of games as well as its waist-slimming benefits. At St. George’s University, the bi-annual Wii Olympics has also brought together students for an evening of fun and fundraising for local hospitals and clinics in Grenada.
Hosted by Urban Humanitarian Projects (UHP) in collaboration with Iota Epsilon Alpha (IEA) Medical Honors Society, Wii Olympics ‘Game for Lives’ raised more than $35,000EC on April 27 at Upper Taylor Hall. According to UHP Co-President Dean Thongkham, the monies raised will be used for its “Breathe Grenada” campaign, for which the group will work with the Ministry of Health to purchase 45 nebulizers for Grenada’s health clinics and centers for asthmatic patients.
“As students we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pursue a medical education in a beautiful country,” Thongkahm said. “At the same time, our calling as doctors makes us keenly aware of the great needs many in the local community have, whether they are health, financial or social. Thus we look to support local charities and organizations through donations and provide financial and logistical support to SGU student groups performing community service projects.”
A total of eight teams competed for the Wii Olympics grand prize – a half-day Catamaran trip provided by First Impressions. The grand raffle prize was a six-night cruise for two donated by Island Wind Jammers. The teams competed in the main tournament on several games ranging from Wii sports to Wii Play. There were also mini-tournaments comprised of games such as Halo 4, FIFA’13, Mario Kart, Call of Duty, Starcraft and much more.
According to Dr. Feisal Brahim, advisory board member of UHP and associate dean of graduate sudies at St. George’s University, the Wii Olympics is not simply a gaming tournament but the driving force behind numerous humanitarian projects.
“Following the extensive flood damage to Pakistan in 2010, Wii Olympics was organized to raise money for the victims of the flood, and the funds raised were matched by the generosity of Dr. Charles Modica. In the subsequent two terms, the funds were used in Grenada, and for the earthquake victims of Haiti.”
The Wii Olympics is part of Grenada’s Health Project which initially began with a mandate to provide diagnostic and treatment equipment to the General Hospital to improve health care delivery. However, UHP has recently decided to focus their donations toward the development of health and education in Grenada. According to Dr. Brahim, “the funds have been earmarked for Grenada, since there is much need for improvement in the health and welfare of the local population.” The most recent donations were made to Princess Alice Hospital, St. Andrews and Sir Daniel and Lady Williams Foundation for Needy Students.