Peace! - Dei Rasi Freckleton pushing for ‘PIMP’
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
Teacher and president of Youth For Change, Dei Rasi Freckleton, is all about bringing a change in the parish of his birth.
Freckleton shared with Rural Xpress that he wants to be a purveyor of change and not just stand on the sidelines talking about it.
So far, he is off to a good start with several projects that he has been spearheading in Clarendon.
Among them are Sponsor-A-Child, which aims to provide assistance to children attending school without the necessary support system - financial or otherwise.
"I started this in 2010, and the programme grew until we've now adopted a basic school and have been hosting an annual pageant to raise funds in assisting destitute children," Freckleton told Rural Xpress.
That programme has given rise to free Grade Six Achievement Test classes on Saturdays, and according to Freckleton, in the past three years, he has only seen one student not being placed at their first-choice institution.
Another of his initiative is Help Yute, which was started in 2014 to assist young people needing a second chance at secondary-level academic or skills achievements.
"This partnership is between myself and the Institute of Career Choice where I get to sponsor up to 10 youngsters to attend the institution and pay for their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
Freckleton elaborated on the success of the programme, noting that all the students involved have not only made good use of the second chance given to them in their examinations, but some matriculated to tertiary institutions, while others are now part of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force.
In his role as a biology and English A teacher, Freckleton has used the opportunity to help students by offering free evening classes to them, earning 100 per cent passes in both subjects in CSEC this year.
Freckleton has one wish where change is concerned, and it is that stakeholders who can make a positive difference in the life of a child or destitute families lend that helping hand.
"Rescue those youngsters before they become attracted to a life of crime," he said.
Freckleton also appealed to parents to think before they add to their family.
MESSAGE TO PARENTS
"If you are unable to properly maintain a large number of children, then desist from having them (without an honest and workable plan)," he said, praising the corporate companies that have been playing their part, and appealing to others to try and get involved in making a difference.
There is no secret regarding what is driving the youth advocate and teacher, as he said growing up, his family was financially challenged and he faced ridicule by a lot of persons who were more well off than they were.
"I also realised that the persons who would assist my parents were not necessarily wealthy, and as such, I decided that if I'm ever in a position to assist others, I'd definitely be an invaluable asset. I was taught by my parents that education was my only ticket out of an impoverished lifestyle, and as such, I've been passing on the same message to young people wherever I meet them," he shared.
Freckleton's latest project now is a social outreach programme called Peace In May Pen (PIMP) to ensure that safety for all residents in and around the town take top priority.
"I have also assembled a team of young people from varied youth groups to begin looking seriously at the development. There are many positives to the development of May Pen, but we also have realised that some of these developments were short-sighted. I am not happy with the current developmental pace, as May Pen is poised for real growth and we will be making suggestions to those in authority to effect change," is the promise he is giving.