Joanne Robinson, President, Flo’s Seniors
Ken Campbell, President, Jaku Konbit

by Vive Akugha

Wednesday, 5 May, 2021

BIA Media aired the pre-recorded interviews from individuals linked to the Jaku Konbit and Flo’s Seniors collaboration. It aired on the 5th of May from 6 pm to 7 pm. Their collaboration brought about multiple available resources for black seniors in the National capital region and Ontario, expressed in the video. This was called the Ottawa Black Seniors Virtual Active Living Network project. Their contributions and the seniors’ experiences were included in the video. Everyone has been affected by the vast changes as a result of the different adaptations for our current health situation. However, it particularly affected those who live alone or need an extra hand, which is the reality for many seniors. Having communities and community organizations that assist while contributing multiple resources is a delightful necessity, especially during uncertain times. Ken Campbell, the president of Jaku Konbit and Joanne Robinson, the founder of Flo’s Seniors conveyed their commitment to this project with their skills and central mission. This collaboration includes; games, exercise sessions, guest speakers (for webinars and classes), the delivery of cultural food once a week and other provisions.

The seniors enrolled in the project were interviewed by Sarah Onyango from Black on Black at CHUO 89.1FM. The responses and experiences with the project were quite positive. The food was said to be helpful, delicious and having great portions. The meal plan delivery was said to be something to look forward to, for a difference or when cooking could be tiresome. The exercise sessions were said to be good with comfortable movement and a great instructor. Another thing that was perceived well were the classes offered which were said to be interesting and enlightening. Many seniors had amazing stories and contributions which were appreciated. The seniors interviewed were; Sheila Pitt, Carmen Jones, Marguaret Sanders, Melka Kerr-Faucher, Renford Thomas, June Girvan, Gloria Anderson, Pearline Mortan and Myra Flash.

There were other interviewers; Denise Moore from Black on Black at CHUO 89.1FM and the Guyana Ottawa Community Association with Georgette Morris from communications at Jaku Konbit. Other community contributors were interviewed as well; Hector Addison-a founding member of African Canadian Association Ottawa (ACAO), John Adeyefa-the president of African Canadian Association Ottawa (ACAO), Luc Thermonvil-the founder of Ottawa Black Business Alliance, Sarah Onyango-who is also a Board of Directors’ member of Black History Ottawa, Andrea Bryan– a member of Accelerator for Centennial Community of Entrepreneurs and Leaders (ACCEL) and Marguerite Fleming of GrowthFinder Pro. They all stressed the need for togetherness within the black community. They also stated their objectives and the resources they offer. A notable moment from the video was by Dr. Clyde Ledbetter, an African World Studies professor. He emphasized taking care of our elders and the importance of eldership in the black community which is the reason these organizations need to be supported for greater progress.

About Jaku Konbit Our mission is to support and improve the lives of disadvantaged individuals and families of African and Caribbean descent through partnership with all communities and programming that results in everyone’s successful economic and civic participation in Canadian society. For more information visit:, or email [email protected].

About Flo’s Seniors Our mandate is:

To provide resources and services for family members/caregivers of Seniors.

To provide and outlet for Afro-Caribbean Seniors within the Ottawa Community.

To provide resources and assistance to seniors seeking services and products within the community.

We are dedicated to promoting the independence and well-being of older adults in Ottawa region through the provision of information as well as various programs and services. For more information, visit:, or email: [email protected].

Vive Akugha is a student in the Bachelor of Arts degree program at the University of Ottawa, majoring in Communications. She writes on social issues, well-being and out of curiosity. Her major platform for writing is on as @veevehhswritings. As a follower on there, you can sign up for her email list to be up-to-date on her posts. She is @Veevehhwrites on Twitter and Instagram. Feel free to share your opinions with her as she is with you.