Hasani Walters, Sunday Gleaner Writer
The Doctor went to school recently. But how much he had learnt after his tour of the Alpha Boys' School, cannot be said.
What he should know, however, is the importance of the task he is involved in - creating a new environment for 130 male wards of the state from ages of six to 18, 10 per cent of whom are disabled.
The Rotary Club of Kingston (RCOK), Moses 'Beenie Man' Davis, Ibo Cooper, and Kempton Lewis, a former Alpha Boy, are the organisers of the 'Let's Do It For Alpha Boys, Beenie Man and Friends in Concert' which is to be held on May 21 at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
The project's objective is to improve on the sporting, recreational and agricultural facilities at the school.
The Jamaica Social Investment Fund plays a major role in the event's funding, as the project's total cost is $6.6 million and they will bear $3.8 million of that cost.
The remaining $2.8 million will come from the RCOK and other organisations. Some individuals have also made donations. This is the RCOK's major project for the year.
President of the club, Richard Josephs said, "While RCOK will be partnering with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, who also sees the dire and critical needs, we extend to the wider corporate community an opportunity to also partner and assist with funding for this major project. We look forward to your support for this noble undertaking, as so many outstanding Jamaicans are products of the Alpha Boys' School."
The importance of the project to the school was also echoed by Beenie Man.
"It's very important because Jamaicans need to help Jamaicans. It's time for Jamaicans to look at our island and stop look on Haiti and what happen to Haiti. Right now it's more disastrous in Jamaica more than in Haiti. Right now, we have youths can help. Wi need to look pon ourself an put it together an know seh we can do it. Nuh care how poor yuh is, a dollar is a dollar in every man pocket," he said.
This is not Beenie's first effort to help the school.
"Well, I've been trying to do things for Alpha all the time. I've been making a lot of donations here, but then a donation nah cut it. If you can have a show that you keep every year, can make a $15 million or a $20 million to give the home, well, it save a lot of donations," said Beenie.
The artiste said he believes the fastest way to make money for the school is to put on the concert so people can come and 'fulljoy' themselves.
"Not buying a ticket thinking that yes the ticket is very expensive, buying a ticket knowing that it's for a good cause and for a great cause, it's a concert to benefit the Alpha Boys," he said.
As for his 'friends', Beenie laughingly said, "We nuh have nobody weh mi confirm yet, but me. I am the only one confirmed, to be honest. But wi ago have Beres Hammond, Bounty Killer, mi sorry how Buju Banton is not here because he woulda very much be on it, yuh have Agent Sasco, all a these people we aiming after. All Mavado too."
Director of the school, Sister Shirley Chung, said she had been working at getting major refur-bishing work done at the school for the past three years.
"I am extremely delighted that we are now able to do this. Our mission speaks of the total development of the boys, and if we are to be true to this mission then I believe we have to offer them something other than what they are used to, hence our drive to improve the facilities and create the opportunities through which they can develop themselves as individuals and as good citizens," she said.