Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Calabar bad boy now peace ambassador

Published:Sunday | December 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Camerone Campbell takes time out from the discussions on the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Santiago, Chile, last week.
Participants in Santiago, Chile, during the first regional dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean to commemorate the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which UNICEF implemented in the region 30 years ago.
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Santiago, Chile:

After being suspended from Calabar High School a number of times, Cameron Campbell was finally expelled while he was in the fourth form and seemed headed down a dangerous path.

But the intervention of the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) has seen him turn his life around and he now works to prevent other youths from making his mistakes.

"I got more than three suspensions from school because I had problems, but I didn't try to seek help or try to like talk to somebody about it," said the 17-year-old Twickenham Park, St Catherine, resident who is now a peace ambassador in his community.

"The community is practically divided because of violence, but we are trying to bring back everyone together," said Campbell, as he pointed to sports as one of the vehicles they are using to ensure peace in the area.

Campbell also advocates for the rights of children and was among several youth advocates from Latin America and Caribbean countries in Santiago, Chile, last week to participate in discussions about the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was launched by UNICEF in the region 30 years ago.

It was his first time leaving Jamaica, and he hopes his contribution helped in some way to further advance the causes of boys, girls and adolescents.

As someone who was kicked out of Calabar, Campbell paid keen attention to the public discussions in September over the school's decision not to readmit several boys who had failed to meet its standards in behaviour or academics.

He was against the decision, which the school later reversed for the most part.

"They wouldn't have anywhere else to go if they are kicked out of school. They are going to resort to violence," argued Campbell, who is now studying general construction at the Heart College of Construction Services.

He has his heart set on helping to develop Jamaica's infrastructure, particularly in rural areas.

"No matter what situation you are in, you can get out. All you have to do is to persevere and be confident in yourself, because if you are not confident in yourself, then nobody else will be," Campbell advised youths.

nadine.wilson@gleanerjm.com