Tue | Aug 21, 2018

FFP Summer Band Camp now in full swing

Published:Friday | August 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
The trumpet group in rehearsal. Jeffery Brown (standing), instructor and Food For The Poor staff member, listens carefully to members of the trumpet group as they rehearse during the camp.
Members of the flute section of Food For The Poor's 2014 Band Camp were proud to play a note to demonstrate what they have learned during the charity's summer programme, which is being held at its Ellerslie Pen offices in Spanish Town. Teaching the participants is Ian Glave (third left). - Contributed Photos

Youth from several inner-city communities in Kingston, St Catherine, and Clarendon are now participating in a Summer Band Camp organised by charity organisation, Food For The Poor.

The camp is held at its Ellerslie Pen, St Catherine, headquarters. The camp, which is in its sixth year, is aimed at developing and enhancing the musical skills of the children. More than 100 youth have graduated from the programme since inception. This year's camp, which began on Monday, July 21, comprises 45 members, ages ranging from six to 17 years. On completion of three weeks of training, some graduates participate in their churches, community marching bands, and at Food For The Poor-related events. The current camp will culminate today with a concert hosted by the graduates.

Chakar Thompson is a second-time participant in the camp. He shared what he said was his most significant moment.

"One thing that stands out is the importance of team work, because we have to play with other persons in the same section so we have to learn to work together," he said.

"When we work as a team, we are able to create good music. We also get the chance to meet people from other backgrounds and that is always good. I really enjoy this programme and it is a very good one," he added.

music is an inspiration

Another participant, Raeme Briscoe, said music is an inspiration.

"It keeps me calm and helps to control my mood. So when I am going through anything, I play music and it takes my mind off those things. Learning to play a musical instrument helps just the same way. This is a very good project."

David Mair, executive director of Food For The Poor, had words of encouragement for the participants.

"At Food For The Poor, it's never about giving a man a fish. Instead, it's about teaching him how to fish," he said. "Our goal is to teach social interaction, personal development, leadership skills, discipline, and responsibility."

Food For The Poor, the largest charity organisation in Jamaica, partners with a number of stakeholders, including churches, non-governmental and private-sector organisations, children's homes and service organisations throughout the island that deal directly with the poor to fill their most urgent needs and to encourage self-sufficiency. The work of the charity is funded by local and overseas donations.