Canaries voices cry out for peace!

From L-R: The members of JA promotions, Joshua, Tricia, Bridgette and Avalan, want to see a better Canaries and Anse-La-Raye.

His nickname is “Crier” maybe something of a town-crier, but right now Avalan Joseph is crying out to be heard, he is crying out for attention, not just for himself, but for his community of Canaries and Anse La Raye too.  Joseph, along with his friend Joshua has just formed JA promotions—an entity which will seek to raise greater awareness about the plight of their people and to seek more opportunities for the young persons in the community.
“What I have realized is that we are from Canaries and we are very much into the arts, drama, poetry, you name it,” Joseph told the STAR when he visited our offices recently. “What we have also realized is that nobody really cares about us in the area, especially the young people, no one really cares. But we are a people with lots of talents and skills but no opportunities are given to us. What we are now trying to do is bring a group of serious people together, willing and dedicated to nurture the talent in the area,” Joseph informed us.
JA promotions launched with two events in Canaries, one at Moon River on Saturday February 12 featuring “live” performances by a number of artistes and a children’s fair in the village on Sunday February 13. Both events were centered on the theme of love.
The intention of JA promotions, the founders say, is not only to impact Canaries but to have an island-wide recognition. “When we sit back and look at what is going on, everything is directed at Castries in the north. The west coast seems to be forgotten.  Most people from the area since there are no jobs and opportunities here have to go to Castries to get a job. With the little they make they have to pay bus fare to travel each day. And what is even worse when they work late at nights they cannot even get a bus to get back home. So it is tough, it is tough for us. It is like we are a forgotten people,” Joseph lamented. “So now what we want to do is mobilize people to start spreading our message and to see who we could work with to create opportunities for our young people in the area. We have some remarkable people from the area, we just need an opportunity to showcase our talents to the country and to the world,” he added.
I asked Joseph why he thought the constituency was so badly neglected.
“I think it is a matter of representation. For too long we have not had good representation in the area and a lot of them that come to represent us we don’t even know them, they don’t even know us,” Joseph says. We need them to get to know us, feel us, and even be us.”
However the group also believes that politics has been used to separate them, to divide and rule as they put it.
“What we need right now is unity,” Joseph’s sister Bridgette Simon who flew in from Florida to support him says. “We are trying to get everyone together for one common goal, because right now there is too much tension in the area because of politics, everyone is on edge. There is even some hostility. What we really need is some love to sooth all this tension,” she told the STAR.
Bridgette’s sister Tricia who also grew up in Canaries wants to see more emphasis placed on the children of the community. “Right now these kids have no one to look up to. But they are the future. So we need to go to the schools with that message of love and unity and inspire them to use their knowledge and not be pressured into making unnecessary decisions,” she says.
Despite still struggling for support to have their movement going, JA promotions says they are going ahead with their initiatives, using their own resources.
“Ultimately we want to see the group right on top. We want to put ourselves in a position where we can make a difference, where our voices can be heard in a non political platform. Politics has really divided the area,” Joseph remarked.
However the group is calling on all those seeking to represent them, to sit and have an open forum with persons from the area. “We would really appreciate if we could have a sit down with both Doctor Pep and Keith Mondesir at the same time, along with some people from the community. We need to have those discussions on issues affecting us and to hear first hand what can be done to alleviate the plight of our people and to arrive at some common goals,” Joseph emphasized.
“It is a crime in itself if we just sit back and do nothing with our youth, our most vital resource. We cannot just sit back and do nothing or talk only. It is time for action and we want to be a part of a change of something positive in the communities of Canaries and Anse La Raye.”

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