JIS News

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  • The Ministry of Youth and Culture has provided $250,000 worth of musical equipment to the Maxfield Park Children’s Home in Kingston, which will enable the children to learn music and express their creative talents.
  • The items, which comprise two electric guitars, one keyboard, one drum set, tambourines and a public address system, were procured under the Ministry’s Art for Life programme, which is being funded by the CHASE Fund.
  • It is being implemented in children’s homes, child protection agencies and juvenile correctional institutions across the island.

The Ministry of Youth and Culture has provided $250,000 worth of musical equipment to the Maxfield Park Children’s Home in Kingston, which will enable the children to learn music and express their creative talents.

The items, which comprise two electric guitars, one keyboard, one drum set, tambourines and a public address system, were procured under the Ministry’s Art for Life programme, which is being funded by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who officially handed over the instruments on Tuesday, March 10, explained that Art for Life is a comprehensive visual and performing arts initiative, aimed at providing wards of the State with an outlet for creative expression and personal growth.

It is being implemented in children’s homes, child protection agencies and juvenile correctional institutions across the island. Children are exposed to art, dance, music and poetry, to complement the regular programmes offered at the institutions.

The Maxfield Park Children’s Home is the second institution to benefit under the programme, which was first introduced to female juveniles at the South Camp Road Correctional Facility in 2013.

Minister Hanna said the programme will be extended to all facilities.

“We want every child in our children’s homes and (places of safety) to have extra-curricular activities in terms of music, dance, drama, sport and mentorship so that we can (nurture) rounded children going back into the society…we are moving it into the different children’s homes and the child protective sector because we find that (the creative arts) provide a healing tool,” she said.

Board member of the Maxfield Park Children’s Home, Karol Fernandez, said the children welcome the musical instruments, which are already being used.

“They wake up early, they are finishing their chores, they are focusing and they are having fun while discipline is being shaped in them,” she noted.

The children will be working with music, drama and dance teachers once per week to expose them to different areas of the creative arts.

Manager of Public Relations and Administration at the CHASE Fund, Hilary Coulton, informed that since 2003, the fund has spent $1.8 billion on various initiatives to develop the country’s creative and performing arts sector.

She said CHASE is happy to support the Art for Life programme. “We are pleased to be associated with this programme that fosters creativity and alternative skills for these young people. We are partners in the long-term development of Jamaica’s children,” she added.

The CHASE Fund provides funding for initiatives in the areas of sports development, early childhood education, health, and arts and culture.