Soca King Mikey and two sets of youth dancers took a serious message to the St. Michael School this morning.
The message was about “Teen Dating Violence” and the medium was the arts and discussion as the soca monarch known for his groovy hits and social works teamed with the Business and Professional Women’s group.
Coordinator of the session, Andrea Gittens, explained that the Teen Dating Violence Campaign was one they used in schools to teach children about the red flags they should look for, about not hitting or abusing their partners/dates, and about how to seek help.
“We normally do this within the 16 Days of Activism with the boys and girls at schools. We were realising that not just adults, but we were getting teens coming forward speaking about being abused by their partners, and boys saying that the girls were abusing them as well. So this was our way of taking the message to them in ways they could understand,” said Gittens.
To get the message across in ways in which the children could relate and generate discussion, she added that they teamed with a number of local celebrities including Mikey, Blood, Lorenzo and John King.
Today, it also included a performance by the Influential Dancers, a troupe of boys, who joined with New Motion Dancers to act out a dance about domestic violence.
“In general the response has been very good. We had some very interactive sessions and the children tend to give lots of opinions, so it generates discussion,” Gittens explained.
This year was the first time though, she said, that the BPW had combined the Teen Dating Violence and the White Ribbon Campaign that focuses on men, into the programme for schools.
“A number of the boys signed onto the White Ribbon Campaign to say they will not condone or commit violence,” she added.
The campaign has already reached three schools, with another four to go before the 16 days end on December 10. (LB)