Just before Easter this year a challenge went out to all students in the Bahamas, ages 12 to 14, to participate in a competition in song, rap, poetry and essay based on the theme: DRUGS AND CRIME ARE A WASTE OF TIME. The competition was sponsored by the Bahamas National Drug Council (Ministry of Health), the Ministry of Education, the United States Embassy, and NADS (National Anti-Drug Secretariat).
The response nation-wide was impressive, especially from the schools on Grand Bahama. Some thirty-two finalists were chosen, with fourteen of the winners coming from Grand Bahama. These finalists attended a week-long Peer Leadership Camp at the Royal Bahamas Defense Force Base in Coral Harbour from June 23 to 30. At the conclusion of that camp, twenty-five of the students were selected to attend a week-long photographic training camp at the famous Island School on Eleuthera from November 26 to December 2, 2012, sponsored by the United States Embassy and the Bahamas National Drug Council, and conducted by the National Geographic Society. More than half, thirteen, of the finalists are from the Grand Bahama schools.
It is the first of such a camp to ever be held in the Bahamas, and these outstanding young persons are indeed privileged to be chosen for such an adventure. They are now designated as Peer Ambassadors, as they will now form the core cadre of young students who will create an invasion throughout the schools on Grand Bahama, carrying and sharing the message that Drugs and Crime are indeed a waste of time.
During this photographic camp, the students will be given underwater digital cameras to record and document nature, the environment and specific neighborhoods. Through assignments and lectures, they will explore and document in the context of their overall theme. Their work culminates in an individual 10-minute public slideshow and presentation on the final day of the camp with an onsite print exhibition. Going forward, these Peer Ambassadors will enhance and fortify their anti-drug / crime messages will with photographic expression to vividly and visually impact their fellow students throughout the school community.
STUDENTS attending: Destiny Cooper, Tamara Sawyer, Deja Brown, Paige Rolle, Charleigha Knowles, Dazanae Jones, Lleah Laing, Versace Nicolls, Joanna Evans, Alexandria Pelecanos, Chine’ Bastian, Matayo Burrows and Matthew Farquharson.
By Joseph Darville
Co-Chairman, Bahamas National Drug Council