Artistes pledge to help make change - Agent Sasco among We Transform ambassadors
'We want to make a change'. That's the general consensus among the entertainers and popular personalities who have been chosen as ambassadors for the Save a Child, Change a Nation initiative.
The plan, which falls under the Ministry of National Security and Department of Correctional Services' We Transform programme, will see artistes such as Agent Sasco and Jermaine Edwards mentoring children who are currently remanded in juvenile correctional facilities across the island.
"The Bible says that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind, and this programme is all about initiating change, so I'm happy to be a part of it," Jermaine Edwards told The Gleaner.
"For many of these children, growing up under certain circumstances is what caused them to make bad choices. Most of them don't want to be bad, and just need someone to show them that there is another way," he said.
The aim of the programme is to help in the rehabilitation of the children in these correctional facilities with the hope that a change of mindset will influence them to make positive life choices.
Kids need a mentor
Jermaine Edwards is convinced that what the children in these facilities need is someone to listen and show them that they care.
"We have to take the time to listen to these children to try and find out where they went wrong and that way we can begin to fix the problem. We cannot fix something if we don't know what the problem is," he said.
Agent Sasco agreed. "I am humbled and honoured to have been considered for such an initiative. I think it's critical that we all play whatever role we can in the development of our young people, our future," he said.
"Being a father, I understand that it takes real effort and commitment. I see the influence my involvement has had on my children, and I hope I can help them to understand that they have their entire lives ahead of them and they are the ones who decide what life it will be regardless of what their present reality is," he said.
Ella Ghartey, programmes manager for We Tranform, said that the ambassadors are supposed to make the juveniles know that their lives are important and will do so through several motivational sessions, interpersonal, educational, and career development sessions.
Kaci Fennel-Shirley and Naomi Cowan are also ambassadors in the programme as well as 50 other persons from various corporate entities across the island who have agreed to volunteer their time as mentors.