Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
International music video directors/producers Salaam Remi and Fatima Curry, have collaborated with the Amy Winehouse Foundation to execute a series of charity projects in Jamaica.
The producers operate their own non-profit organisation which caters to inner-city communities in and around Kingston called 'Elevating Resources'. However, Fatima Curry says more assistance can only help the cause.
Curry and the video production team were in Jamaica shooting music videos for reggae artistes Spragga Benz and Stephen Marley recently, and during the process, the directors were taken to several inner-city communities in Kingston.
The experience opened their eyes to the harsh reality experienced by Jamaicans living in what some Jamaicans classify as 'ghettos'. The sight of the living conditions endured by the residents of these communities seemingly touched a nerve.
Thus, Elevating Resources was born.
"The project in Jamaica is the first that we have undertaken and we hope to grow and expand, but for now, Kingston is the direct focus. We have sent some tutors to Trench Town and Haile Selassie high schools, and the movement is growing," Curry said.
The Amy Winehouse Foundation is currently doing charity projects in St Lucia. However, Curry and Elevating Resources hope the collaboration between the two charities will provide more assistance to Caribbean communities who are experiencing slow or no development.
"I suggested to them that they work with us in Jamaica. So we are going to do some form of collaboration related to music inside the Kingston area. We also have a statistic of high-school dropouts in the Kingston area and we want to give our support in some kind of way. Every year, some students can look for us to be in their life in some form of way," Curry said.
Curry says Spragga Benz and Stephen Marley have been a huge inspiration.
"I have seen where Spragga Benz has done work with the kids and I have worked closely with him and both him and Stephen Marley have inspired me," Curry continued.
"They took me around and showed me that Jamaicans are rich in spirit, even though some of the inner cities are poor," said Curry.
Spragga Benz also operates his own charity initiative called 'The Carlisle Foundation', dedicated to his deceased son Carlton Grant Junior.
"As I walked through the communities, I felt a sense of pride coming from the Jamaican children. They are so resilient. It made me say, imagine how great they would be if they had some assistance," Curry said.
Elevating Resources is based in New York. More information on the charity can be fetched at their website at elevatingresources.org.