This project is important for our Maroon community as we continue to create and offer quality education and activities to youth. We want youth to learn about and feel proud and empowered by their culture and history. Offering activities and cultural education to our youth ensures they stay safe, informed, engaged and on a good path to a healthy future.
Collaboration: We start by connecting with the leaders of the EdJAM project, School for Life (in Mexico), to learn about their process of working with the young Mayans of their communities in designing and using community-based learning spaces. We hope to learn how we can better utilize our traditional Maroon hut and our Maroon Memory Bank. We want to understand their process of developing a curriculum based on their Mayan history and culture, one that makes central, and supports the empowerment and equal rights of young people. This collaboration will be supported by the Young Lives Research Lab (YLRL) who will also provide translation services for the meetings.
Learning: To deepen our learning about the process, outcomes and impact the EdJAM funding and EdJAM values has had on our community and the projects we were able to host through the Accompong Maroon Youth Culture Group (AMYCG). We will work with our partners at the YLRL to hold an intergenerational community conversation circle with youth and Elders to better understand important aspects of this community/youth-led work and its outputs. The YLRL Founder and Director, Dr. Kate Tilleczek, has decades of experience in conducting youth-centred participatory action research that is with, by and for youth and their communities. She and her team at YLRL will provide additional research methods training to our team and support the data collection activities.
We will also host a community consultation with the Ministry of Education and members of Maroon communities (across Jamaica) where we will seek input on the development and sharing of the education tools. We will take what we learn through these community conversation circles and consultation, and through collaboration with leaders School for Life project, to develop:
- A co-authored paper (for peer review).
- True Maroon history and culture curriculum.
- Educational tools (posters, infographics, and brochures).
The curriculum and educational tools will be made easily available at our Memory Bank (live and digital); in local schools; in Jamaica’s Maroon communities; and at the Ministry of Education. The collaboration and learning activities support sharing through the formal development.
Sharing: We will work with local schools and government officials to fully develop the curriculum and educational tools, and ensure they are promoted within schools (locally and nationally). The Young Lives Research Lab will create a webpage where we will digitize our Memory Bank by uploading a virtual tour, photos and videos and make our teaching tools available for everyone to access and use (offering printable versions). We will host regular radio broadcasts about our work and the impact of our EdJAM funded activities on our local radio station, Abeng 88.7 FM, through social media posts. In addition, creating a report for our community, to be printed and provided at our Memory Bank, at the school, and in local community centres of Jamaica’s Maroon communities
Impact: Our educative tools will be made available in our Maroon territories, across our country, and for use and further co-development to teams in the EdJAM network. With guidance from partners at the School for Life we will also identify new, impactful ways to utilize existing community spaces in our work and engagement activities, and to identify new areas in our community to be developed as useful and meaningful community spaces.
Together with our partners at YLRL and our local government, we aim to use the results of this work to support important and necessary changes to our local and national curriculum. Data from the interviews we conducted with our first round of EdJAM funding show that young people in Accompong do not see their history or culture accurately represented in our current curriculum. We aim to offer our Ministry of Education co-developed curriculum and teaching tools that are equitable and inclusive to better support education about the Maroon people (UN Sustainable Development Goal #4).
Meet the team:
Learn more about this project
By exploring the history and culture of the Jamaican Maroons, we seek to educate and uplift the youth of our communities by learning about our true history…Read more
“We, the Maroons of Jamaica, have a deep and powerful history that began with the capture and enslavement of our African ancestors more than 300 years…Read more