Shooting of anti-bullying film to start
After months on the drawing board, the End Bullying Globally Campaign team is now ready to start filming this planned movie-documentary about the dangers and repercussions of bullying. This is in a bold bid to project conflict resolution as the preferred option to violence.
According to Antonio McKoy, the initiative's founder and chairman, filming will begin next month and will be done at several locations across Western Jamaica.
"The production will be a 45-minute film about bullying, its psychological impacts, and how we can stop it," said McKoy, whose initiative has been having a positive impact in primary and secondary schools across the island since its inception just over a year ago.
"We intend to have it aired on local TV as well as cable channels," said McKoy. "In addition, we intend to give a copy to each school that we visit so they can observe the powerful message the film will portray."
McKoy, who is also the founder of the Montego Bay-based charity, the Le Antonio Foundation, told The Gleaner that the film's production would have started already, had it not been for a lack of funding.
However, thanks to the intervention of the organisation's long-time partners, Hanover Charities, which recently stepped in to provide the requisite sponsorship, the project is now ready to take off.
"Hanover Charities have done a tremendous job in terms of supporting the campaign," said McKoy. "We are now looking to other individuals and organisations to come on board and replicate what Hanover Charities have been doing in helping to provide guidance and aid to the children."
...Taking conflict resolution message to school
The End Bullying Globally Campaign team is poised to restart its school visits and will be conducting surveys on bullying at each institution. Merlene Ottey High School, in Hanover, Spot Valley High, and Glendevon Primary and Junior High in St James, were among the schools visited in 2016.
Isabell Dalley, the 2016 Miss Universe Jamaica and former parliamentarian Raymond Pryce are on board with the initiative as ambassadors.
"Right now, we are looking for people to partner with, parish by parish, to assist us in bringing the message (of conflict resolution) to each school," said McKoy, in making a plea to potential sponsors. "Come and sponsor the parish in which you live or do business. If you do so, then the campaign will reach every school in Jamaica and make a significant impact in terms of reducing crime and violence."