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St Mary festival queen launches 'I Respect Me' campaign

Published:Thursday | February 18, 2016 | 12:00 AMOrantes Moore
St Mary Festival Queen 2015 Lazan Frazer at the launch of her youth-focused campaign, I Respect Me, alongside Brimmer Vale High School student Enika Haye (right) and deputy head girl Kimone James in Port Maria on Monday.


At the national finals of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's festival queen competition last year, St Mary's contestant, Lazan Frazer, collected the 'Best Performance' award for her pro-marijuana speech 'Free It Up'.

Six months later and the parish's reigning festival queen is preparing to embark on another groundbreaking campaign.

Over the next two weeks, Frazer, will tour 10 of St Mary's high schools to deliver a personal development seminar, I Respect Me, which encourages young people to love and value themselves and others.

Speaking in Port Maria on Monday, after the launch of the new scheme at Brimmer Vale High School,the 25-year-old registered nurse told Rural Xpress: "Today I'm launching my parish project, I Respect Me, under the theme 'Self-value, self-worth and self-respect.'

"What I really want is to get young people to understand how to present themselves as polished individuals of value and class because I think they need to know how important they are to society.

"These young people may be students now, but they will be Jamaica's workforce tomorrow, so we are targeting them in the schools from as early as possible to try and help the country develop into a better place."

Frazer's high school tour runs across the parish until March 3 in conjunction with Social Development Commission, the Office of the Children's Registry, and the local police's Safe School Unit (SSU) and Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

She explained: "The aim of the programme is to show students practical examples of life changing stories by going into schools, alongside my team, which includes staff from CISOCA and Sergeant McGibbon of the SSU, and giving motivational speeches explaining why they should respect and value themselves.

"If we show people that we don't value ourselves, they will see that and not value you, but when you display a sense of love for yourself, automatically, they have to love you. It's very important that young people understand their background and where they're coming from doesn't matter; it's about where they are going.

"But you cannot go anywhere if you don't believe in yourself, and some young people don't believe they're going anywhere simply because of their current environment or what they have been through."