Youth club helping to keep culture alive in Accompong
The Accompong Youth Cultural Group in St Elizabeth has a very important responsibility. Its mandate is to work around the clock to preserve the cultural history and identity of the historic Maroon village.
Formed some five years ago, the group has been instrumental in rallying the young men and women of the community to be more grounded with Jamaica's rich Maroon culture, particularly the events that played out in Accompong, which played a pivotal role in the Maroon's fight for freedom.
"The group is growing because the key vision is to get the young people of the community to maintain the culture of Accompong," said Demoney Lennon, the group's president.
"Activities like our annual culture camp bring about more unity among the youth as we worked together to preserve our culture and the whole Cockpit Country."
The cultural group, which currently has close to two dozen dedicated members, is behind a number of community
projects and programmes, such as one geared towards teaching the youth how to play various musical instruments used by the Maroons. The youth are also taught traditional songs and dances.
"We also do a lot of community projects, like the herbal garden that is good for all sorts of sickness," said Kenrick Wallace, the vice-president of the club. "The next things we want to secure are a car park, museum, a playing field and a chicken farm, so we can create additional employment in the community."
However, the group is in need of financing and the leadership is currently writing a number of proposals to corporate bodies to solicit their assistance.
"On the economic side, we are really down ... so getting the assistance we are seeking will be very helpful. We want corporate Jamaica to know that we need help to develop the infrastructure and provide more job opportunities," said Lennon.