What a fascinating headline that is! Quite a combination, all adding up to a week of empowerment for youngsters from stressed communities, along with teachers, caregivers, and youth workers.
This week is Trafficking in Persons Week in Jamaica. I am not sure if many Jamaicans have fully grasped the meaning, depth, and significance of this issue, here on this island. It still needs to be translated, explained and clarified. Nicole Dennis-Benn’s novel Here Comes the Sun is a vivid portrayal of the corruption, the exploitation, the criminality. It is so often hidden, misunderstood, in the shadows. So I am happy that this was the focus of the National Library of Jamaica’s (NLJ) fourth All Flowers Are Roses session. Here is more, from the NLJ:
NLJ fights Human Trafficking with Poetry and Self-Defence Training
The National Library of Jamaica brought down the curtains on the 2019 staging of its All Flowers Are Roses: Poetry and Self-Defence Series on Friday, July 19, 2019. At the Open Day event, excited participants showcased the fruits of a week’s worth of sessions on Poetry, Martial Arts, Human Trafficking and Mental Health Awareness.
To lead sessions on raising awareness of Human Trafficking, the NLJ partnered with Pursued International, a woman-led initiative targeting the elimination of Human Trafficking in Jamaica through an emphasis on counseling, mentorship, and empowerment. Other partners were the Jamaica TaeKwonDo Association and the Jamaica Mental Health Advocacy Network.
Students performed original poems, demonstrated self-defense techniques, and shared their new knowledge of the rising challenge of Trafficking in Persons and the dangers of human trafficking in Jamaica.
Davia Ellis, a health and family living teacher, reflected on her experience, “Before coming here I always thought [human trafficking] was something far from us in Jamaica…at times it was overwhelming to hear the realities… No longer will we wonder ‘What are the authorities doing?’ because we will be so busy helping vulnerable persons in our communities to run from Human Trafficking through our words…our poetry”.
This is the 4thstaging of the unique program conceptualized by Poet Laureate of Jamaica, the illustrious Lorna Goodison. Goodison expressed her delight at the positive impact the series has had since its inception in 2017. Plans are underway to publish the original poems written by participants in an anthology to be released in 2020.
Classes for children (ages 10-17) and workshops for teachers, caregivers, and youth workers were held July 15-19, 2019 at the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions. Funding for the series was provided by JMMB, GraceKennedy, and JAMCOPY.
In Jamaica, Trafficking in Persons Week is being observed July 21-27, 2019, while the UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons will be on July 30. For more information, please contact the National Library of Jamaica at 876-967-2494 or email@example.com.