By Chantal Hudon, GCELE Jamaica 2016
Upon an island far away from home, there is an existence of a cultural, agricultural and spiritual crowd who come together to celebrate life. We call it Jamaica. Many people have seen the world, but how many have truly seen beyond tourism?
If you have never been, keep reading….
The skies are clear, the water has a taint of aqua blue, the sun warms every citizen, every crop, every tree and every beam plummets into the Caribbean Sea. Oh what a feeling! Jamaica’s temperature is about 35 to 38 degrees Celsius on a regular day… Still you can witness their citizens with long sleeves or heavy jeans working hard day and night.
As you begin to understand the life in Jamaica, citizens have been engaging for many decades in agriculture, farming, construction and governmental effort in order to survive this life. Living in Jamaica has become more sustainable over the years and continues to bloom although there are still some corners of the island that needs care, attention and dedication. Negril is one of them.
The camp Power To Be International was created to address some of the equity and social justice issues that exists in Negril; education, lack of resources, and negligence of youth development just to name a few. What this camp provides is a safe place where they can live, laugh, learn but most of all, be themselves! The mission is simple, “Helping youth discover their Power to Be”.
Everyday, there was a morning assembly in order to create excitement at the camp. The students would dance to their favourite theme song, learn what the “Power to Be” characteristic was for the day and how they were able to implement this in their behaviour. As you meet the students for the first time up to the last day, you instantly make connections and most importantly, long lasting friendships. These our students who will never forget our faces and what we have contributed for them in a week time!
Through all this experience, I have felt much of this culture shock transforming itself into really what I would call culture appreciation. I have learned the importance of engaging in global communities who are less fortunate than I. Together, we can make a change. It is not about how big this change is, it is about the effectiveness of each and every one of us contributing to it. As global citizens, we come together to create this positive global change to see its effectiveness, to inspire others to do the same and to be a part of something much bigger. If we have the power, the strength, the leadership skills, but most importantly the will and urge to make a global change,then I’d say it starts with YOU!!!