Location
Jamaica
Project Type
Small grant projects
Our Projects

The Accompong Maroon Youth Culture Camp & Memory Bank

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 so we can learn, grow and be empowered from it.

Our After School Culture Program, the annual Maroon Youth Culture Camp and the Maroon Memory Bank have been developed to address themes of History Education and Classrooms and Heritage Education and Everyday Lives.  An intergenerational project, we work with the elders and youth of our communities to develop and implement spaces and activities where we can teach, talk and learn about our history and our present in order to support and prepare our youth for their futures. This work engages hundreds of young Maroons in educative activities based in culture and heritage where we use storytelling, music, and project-based learning activities to engage young people in active exercises to learn and grow from our violent past.

Main aims:

To address and educate young people about our Maroon history:

  • Our ancestors being captured and brought to Jamaica as slaves and their escape and fight for freedom,
  • The importance of preserving our history, especially as told by our Elders today,
  • The need of keeping our culture active and alive in all aspects of our daily lives.

Main outcomes:

  • Increased knowledge, understanding and pride about our Maroon history and culture.
  • For all Maroons living in Cockpit County, St. Elizabeth to benefit from this project

Our key deliverables: 

  • The implementation of a weekly Maroon Youth Culture Program (after school),
  • The creation of a Maroon Memory Bank, and
  • The successful implementation of the Maroon Youth Culture Camp 2022.

We partner with Chief Richard Currie and his executive council and the Young Lives Research Lab (York University, Canada) to achieve the goals and objectives of this project

“What a thrill it is to work alongside these creative and energetic young people as they design transformative education with/by/for their own community. We have been learning a great deal in our work to support and amplify their path-breaking work”

Dr. Kate Tilleczek, Director Young Lives Research Lab, York University

Results

By securing EdJAM funding for our work the Accompong Maroon Culture Camp and Memory Bank our community was uplifted and given more drive to understand, educate and celebrate our Maroon history and culture. By expanding our annual Maroon Culture Camp we have been able to reach other Maroons from distant communities in Jamacia and provide participants with opportunities to formally share their stories, experiences, opinions and ideas through talking circles and filmed interviews. We were also able to purchase substantial supplied for the activities such as traditional cooking courses, medicinal plants and medicine preparation, drum-making and drumming, dancing with traditional dress, Maroon craft jewellery making and the building of our traditional Maroon Hut.

During the annual Maroon Culture Camp, our Elders spoke with us about our history and our culture, and our youth participated in traditional activities that supported their learning and understanding of what it means to be a Maroon.  These activities strengthened our cultural connection and pride and offered us an opportunity to educate those from outside of our community through the development of our Memory Bank.

Key outputs: 
We feel our Traditional Maroon Hut and our Memory Bank are our key outputs and demonstrate that the act of building these spaces together -with our youth and Elders- were powerful and important educational experience for all involved. These spaces live on to provide space for continued learning and to preserve our culture and history with pride.

  • Our Maroon Memory Bank – This newly renovated building provides space for visitors to learn about our Maroon history and culture through photos, artwork, handcrafts, musical instruments, treaty and land information and filmed interviews with our Elders and youth. This space is a living historical archive where we will continue to add artifacts that represent the history and daily lives of the Maroon people of Jamaica.
  • Our Traditional Maroon Hut – this traditional hut, built in an intergenerational cooperation using traditional methods and materials, provided an important educational experience during construction and continues to stand as a space where we can gather to learn about and celebrate our Maroon history and culture.

This work has allowed us at the Accompong Maroon Youth Culture Group to grow as an organization. We now better understand the aspects of seeking and securing funding and we’ve developed key relationships locally and internationally that will support us in continuing to offer cultural programming to youth and our communities.

Learn more about these key outputs and the project below.

Meet the team:

 

Jamaica

Demoney Lennon

President, Accompong Maroon Youth Culture Group

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Jamaica

Kenrick Wallace

Vice President, Accompong Maroon Youth Culture Group

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Jamaica

Suckrea Genas

Co-Secretary, Accompong Maroon Youth Culture Group

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Jamaica

Shanieka Gregory

Member, Accompong Maroon Youth Culture Group

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