By Sheria Brathwaite
Another Christ Church community is benefiting from the Operation Ceasefire initiative, which aims to use sports as a catalyst to deter young people from
engaging in deviant behaviour.
On Wednesday during the launch of the programme in Wotton, Janal Browne, the founder of Operation Ceasefire, told Barbados TODAY that many residents in various Christ Church areas were asking for the initiative to be rolled out in their area. He said there was support for finding creative ways for the youth to spend their time especially given the recent spike of violence among young people.
“The programme is actually doing something for the youth and they are excited about it and that is exactly what we wanted,” he said.
Last month, Browne, with the help of the National Sports Council, erected a road tennis court in Sayes Court, and held a tournament there which attracted members of the community.
He said he was approached by some Wotton residents about doing the same in their community and Browne said he pooled his resources and worked with residents to erect a road tennis court there.
Denurla Elibox and Adijah Dan Younge said they were grateful for the assistance as children in that community liked road tennis but did not have access to a court.
“We always say the youth are going down a bad lane but the youth love to play tennis so when they see that people are interested in things that they are interested in, they respect you more and try to strive for better in life. Youth don’t generally go towards things that are bad, they gravitate toward things they may see, as they are just children and can be influenced,” said Elibox.
Younge said he chose the colours red, green and yellow for the project specifically to convey a subliminal message to the youngsters playing on the court.
“Yellow is to signify hope and remind them that there is always a brighter future and green signifies prosperity.
“Red depicts the blood that was shed from young people who died as a result of violence in the past and it also signifies that no more blood would have
to be drawn,” he said.
The court is also equipped with lighting so the sport could be played at sundown.
The young people in the Wotton community graded the court and painted it over five days.
Browne said he wanted to expand the programme so other youth coud have access to an activity that built community spirit, helped to develop their character and contributed to their overall health and wellness.
He said private individuals and or corporate Barbados could make contributions to the development of the initiative so it could have more reach.
Browne, 36, a Justice of the Peace, is also an entrepreneur and business advisor, who was an advisor to the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit.