On Saturday May 8th, 2021, no one could have asked for a better outcome. The weather was warm with a gentle breeze, the food was delicious, and the music was superb. Kids ran around, while parents unwound from the past years chaos.
Opening up the night, we had #DisciplesofMusic, whose music resonated with the crowd and set the tone for the evenings festivities. The sax played that soothing melody to
the tempo of the bass leaving all in awe of the young artists on stage. Following up we had a surprise DJ performance from @DJDeanBrown from #LIVE11RADIO. His upbeat music and interactions with the audience could be heard across the green. He was determined to get the people dancing and on their feet and he did so successfully.
Lance-O of #kulchashok took the stage by fire and carried on that energy and passion through the crowd. Guests found themselves bouncing on their feet and engrossed in the vibes he set forward. His smooth set paved the way for the closing act: Cacique and the #ShamanicRootz. Now, these guys, took us up and down; pumped us up then brought the chill. Performing their signature song, Drawn to Yuh Love, to close out the night.
People lingered until twilight, enjoying the chill vibes brought by Lance-O.
Why do we do this?
Every year, the host of Havana Reggae Festival brings the music for their communities. Both here in the U.S. and in the Islands.
In the Caribbean, Secondary and Higher education is a bit different from in the United States. Families are expected to fund their own uniforms, books, transportation, and food stipend which contrasts greatly to the government-funded high school programs here in the U.S. Many children, some as young as 5 years old, work from the time they are able to help support their families when those are the years they should be learning and growing. For this reason many primary school students in the islands will never have the opportunity to seek secondary or higher education. PALAS and GIFT seek to bridge that gap and provide food, books, uniforms, and equipment to Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands.
Peace and Love Academic Scholarship (#PALAS1) is a scholarship program for high school students currently residing in the Caribbean region to seek higher education Their goal is to instill a sense of hope, responsibility, and provide the necessary tools for students to uplift, empower, and obtain a new outlook on life. They help to form a supportive network they can utilize to continue building themselves and their communities.
God Is Forever True (#GIFT) is a community organization is designed to give gifts and stabilize the families while focusing on God. The Dahlia Bowen-Hewling Scholarship provides transportation, lunch, uniforms and literature books to students to lessen the economic impact of achieving a higher education.
Whether you were a vendor, guest, or volunteer, you helped to raise 500USD or 75,000JMD for two causes that are held dear to our hearts: Peace and Love Academic Scholarships (PALAS) and God is Forever True (GIFT).