GL MUSIC/RADIKAL YARD AND SOROPTIMIST OF ANGUILLA REACH OUT TO AT-RISK YOUTH

anguillian
By anguillian March 22, 2013 08:21

GL MUSIC/RADIKAL YARD AND SOROPTIMIST OF ANGUILLA REACH OUT TO AT-RISK YOUTH

 

Session with youngsters

Session with youngsters

In Prayer with Students and Principal Ms Lake

In Prayer with Students and Principal Ms Lake

GL MUSIC and Radikal Yard, in collaboration with Soroptimist International of Anguilla have embarked upon an initiative to realize a vision that both groups jointly share: To develop our Youth to their fullest potential. The two groups have been busy over the past week laying the ground work for the initiative. The partnership began with a presentation by GL MUSIC to the Soroptimist at their general meeting on Tuesday, 12 March, 2013. Mr. Calvin Whilby, better known as international gospel artist, Prodigal Son, told the Soroptimist members of his background and mission. Mr. Whilby is a former member of a gang in Jamaica. He was delivered from the gang lifestyle by the call of Christ. Mr. Whilby has been a devoted Christian for the last 13 years. His mission now is to proclaim the gospel of Christ to the world. He gives his testimony of the hard life he had as a gang leader and the radical change salvation by Christ Jesus is making in his life. Mr. Whilby extends to his audiences the pathway to salvation and a promise to help at-risk youth change the direction of their lives.

After hearing Mr. Whilby’s story, the Soroptimist members immediately felt that Mr. Whilby’s story could have a major impact on the lives of some at-risk youths in the community. So far, GL MUSIC and Prodigal Son have met with students from Campus C, A and B. The main issue of concern for the students from Campuses A and B is territorial rights, i.e. East against West, Valley against Blowing Point. In his presentation to this group, Mr. Whilby stated: “You are not from The Valley or Blowing Point (the two villages represented), you are from Anguilla.” At both meetings, some students accepted the call to give their lives to Christ.

On Sunday afternoon, Prodigal Son and members of GL MUSIC met with the residents of the Zenaida Juvenile Center. Zenaida is a detention center for juveniles who have been convicted of crimes. Currently there are eight residents in custody. Again, several young men responded positively to the call to surrender their lives to Christ. Further discussions with the residents unveiled important information for the people of Anguilla. Overwhelmingly, the young men communicated that they found themselves on the wrong side of the law because Anguilla doesn’t have many activities to occupy the youth. Some of these teenagers come from homes that cannot afford activities such as MUSIC lessons, etc. Also many of the young men had been stigmatized in their communities because of their behavioral problems. Now they feel rejected and angry. The residents, also, indicated their interest in MUSIC and would like to learn to play various instruments including the guitar, keyboard, bass guitar and drums. One resident has his saxophone at the Centre. GL MUSIC has committed in assisting the young men learn how to play these instruments.

Prodigal Son and members of the Soroptimist Club met with a group of older young men on Monday, 18 March. It is hoped that Mr. Whilby’s message will have a similar effect on them and that they will provide more information as to what Anguilla needs to do to impact its young people positively.

Both the Soroptimist Club and GL MUSIC recognize that a one-time meeting with these at-risk youths is insufficient to make any lasting impact on their lives. First, the discipleship of those who have accepted Christ is imperative. Fortunately, Central Baptist Church has experience with a programme entitled: Won by One which is a Bible study course to lay the foundations of the Christian faith to new believers. Pastor Cecil Richardson has agreed to provide mentors to deliver the Won by One programme to these young men. Approximately 30 teenagers attended the Campus A & B session lead by Prodigal Son. Several of the teenagers came forward and accepted Christ. But the work has now begun. Each person will need a mentor which ideally should be male. So you can see, that as more and more young people are impacted, the need for mentors will increase.

Secondly, GL MUSIC faces an initial hurdle in fulfilling their promise to the residents of Zenaida, i.e. procuring instruments for each individual. A first estimate of instruments and other necessary equipment would cost on the order of US$5,000, which is a small investment in our young people.

Thirdly, these needs have been unfolding as the groups have interacted with the young people. GL MUSIC and Radikal Yard (Prodigal Son’s Record Label) are organizing a unity concert called Freedom Fest as part of the Anguilla Day celebrations. Freedom Fest is a successful event in Jamaica organized and hosted by Prodigal Son in which some 15,000 persons, mostly Youth, attend each event. They have already reserved a spot on the Anguilla Day schedule: Friday, May 31st to duplicate this event for the people of Anguilla. The objective of the concert is to appeal to the young people, through music, to shun violence, be a positive influence in the community and make God a part of their lives.

During this national celebration, it is hoped that we would all be patriotic and put country above self just as the Anguilla revolutionaries did in1967. Prodigal Son and his skillful Jamaican Band will return to perform at the concert along with Gershwin Lake and Parable Band and others. It is also hoped that the Big Bands of Anguilla will participate in a Clean Words Song Competition . The Bands would be asked to compose a song with only clean lyrics. The songs would be judged and cash prizes given.

As usual, one of the primary challenges is funding. A need for US$5,000 was explained above for the purchase of instruments. Of course, producing a concert will take significant funds for travel, accommodation and meals, venue, sound equipment, marketing and prize money, among other expenses. This effort is to benefit Anguilla, as it is hoped that a wholesome impact on the young people will result in reduced crime and violence. That we can send this message to the international community and regain Anguilla’s reputation as a quiet, peaceful and crime-free jurisdiction. Mathew 9:37 says “The harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few” and money is tight in these recessionary times.

GL MUSIC appeals to all of Anguilla: Government, Business Community, Chamber of Commerce, Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association, Anguilla Financial Services Association, other service clubs, churches and individuals to help make this a reality. If you would like to assist in any way, please contact Denise Romney, Programme Action Chairperson of the Soroptimist Club on (264) 235-7819 for more information.

GL MUSIC is a Gospel Group lead by Anguilla gospel artiste, songwriter and composer Gershwin Lake and backed up by the Band Parables (members are: Elson Richardson (Spongee) – Keyboardist #1, Perry Hughes – keyboardist # 2, Ivan Connor – keyboardist # 3, Tony Fleming – Bass player, Claudel Romney – Guitarist, Jaydn Fleming – Drummer. The singing group is lead by Gershwin Lake – Lead Singer and Composer, Ruel Connor – main backup Singer and accompanied by the Lake Sisters: Janelle Lake-Connor and Darnelle Lake-Dean. GL MUSIC (Ministering Unrestrained Selflessly In Christ) –Be part of the vision by committing to being a joint partner in furthering God’s Kingdom by empowering our Youths.

anguillian
By anguillian March 22, 2013 08:21

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