Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Chronixx, Fuse ODG target £500,000 for two schools

Published:Sunday | November 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small
Jamaican children with plastic bottles collected for recycling.
Fuse ODG and Chakabars
Chronixx (left) and Chakabars at the Haile Selassie High School, with part of their funding call superimposed.
Chronixx (second right) in the computer lab at the Haile Selassie High School, St Andrew.
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Chronixx and Ghanian recording artiste Fuse ODG have united in an attempt to raise £500,000 for one Ghanian and one Jamaican secondary-level school. With powerful assists from filmmaker Donisha Prendergast and social activist Chaka Clarke (aka Chakabars), they began the We Will Rize Together crowd-funding initiative. If the target is met, the entertainers will split the funds equally and dedicate their energies to either the refurbishing or actual construction of a school.

The We Will Rize Project aims to equip schools with proper facilities and modern tools. The entertainers also intend to complement traditional education with a number of vocational and creative skills, such as carpentry, cosmetology, culinary arts, manufacturing natural hair and body products, filmmaking, music, and sewing.

"Our first initiative is December 1 around Chronixx's concert (to be held at Mas Camp). We're asking volunteers to come forward and to help us," Prendergast told The Sunday Gleaner.

Where Chronixx aims to donate £250,000 to the Haile Selassie High School, Fuse ODG aims to build a school in Ghana. "My friend is Afrobeats artiste Fuse ODG. He already has a school built, and it's a primary school, but the youth dem, they're grown and now, they need a secondary one," said Chakabars, initiator of the project.

He was part of another major crowd-funding initiative earlier this year involving former 'Vine' star Jerome Jarre. With the help of celebrities like Lewis Hamilton, Emma Watson, and Cara Delevingne, through Ben Stiller's charity organisation, they bought out a Turkish Airlines aeroplane to donate relief supplies in response to famine in Somalia. With a goal of US $1 million/£800,000, their effort rocketed to US$2.7million, surpassing the goal by over 100 per cent, in less than 24 hours. The effort go the help of other prominent social and entertainment figures like Colin Kaepernick and Lenny Kravtiz.

"We're trying to develop a new model for what we call volun-tourism. We know people are coming down for all kinds of reggae events, and we want to direct that audience to do actions. Reggae music is a music that is a call to action. So we want to activate the audience to help us build community," Prendergast told The Sunday Gleaner.

 

'Earth-healing' talks

 

The call to action on December 1 will be in support of the Haile Selassie High School and the development of its eco-club. "They just joined the WISYNCO eco-competition to try to make their school into a recycling school. There, we want to build a recycling centre and initiate 'earth-healing' conversations," Prendergast continued. Local volunteers can sign up for the Haile Selassie High School project and get discounted tickets for the December 1 concert. "We want to do the same thing around Rebel Salute in January when we have another call to action," Prendergast said.

"More time, in African countries, the people going there to provide charity, it's usually European people. There's a culture of that, culture of paternalism. Youths in gap years are going to volunteer in African villages. If you are 18-21, you don't think about Jamaica," Chakabars said.

 

'Voluntoursm'

 

He is also promoting the Kingston Volunteer & Tour Experience on social media to international 'voluntours'. They can book spaces to experience the city through museum tours (including the Bob Marley Museum), access to the Chronology Caribbean Tour Concert, the Smile Jamaica Concert (December 3), eco tours, the Kingston City Tour, and more.

Chakabars was born in Barbados to a Jamaican mother. "And my father has a Jamaican father," he added. "I have Jamaican heritage, as well as Bajan and Vinci and Celtic and Chinese, but predominantly Jamaican. Everyone was telling me to work with [Chronixx]. So I went on Instagram Live to ask people to help me reach his page, to contact me. And he did." Chakabars said.

He visited Jamaica for the first time this year. "I went to Chronixx in June 2017, and from the reasoning with Chronixx, he mentioned Haile Selassie [High]," he said.

Chakabars left and returned to Jamaica last month, and visited the high school. "I'm going to a school where the youths dem don't have toilets, or they don't have clean toilets. The toilets are overflowing. They don't have fans, they don't have air-conditioning. I'm picking my niece up from AISK, and they have that and they're happy. Then, on the other end, youth dem talking about gunshots from last night or who dead yesterday," Chakabars told The Sunday Gleaner.

We Will Rize Together's GoFundMe has collected £16,043.