By Liz Rahaman
International campaigner and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, Barbadian-born Adisa Jelani Andwele (AJA), says that his mission in St. Kitts and Nevis is to inspire school children to develop a zero tolerance for poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
He plans to this through the chronicles of his travels to war zone and poverty stricken areas near and afar.
Speaking with the media last Friday afternoon, the Poet/Musician, said his aim is to be proactive in the fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS, instead of only being a stage performer.
Between 2003/04, he has visited Sierra Leone, Palestine, Israel, Brazil, Haiti, and Jamaica and is slated to perform in St. Kitts during the OECS 25th anniversary celebrations at the ECCB auditorium on Monday.
His tour to the Federation ends with an open-air concert at Independence Square on June Wednesday, to coincide with the Ministry of Health National Testing Day for HIV/AIDS.
“All around the world I go into schools and show 30-minute excerpts on CD from a documentary and what it does is inspire them to become more responsible as regards, not only towards violence, but adapt a zero tolerance to poverty and HIV/AIDS,” AJA said.
AJA explained the documentary, which is currently being produced in seven parts by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), telecasts the level at which the epidemic and poverty are prevalent in the countries visited.
“It shows children/babies in these countries dying of AIDS, abandon children because their parents have been wiped out by the disease…it is one thing to hear about these things, but when you see it you have a different response…so what they see as children would open their eyes,” AJA said.
He has also written a volume of poems in e-book form completed with photographs entitled: “Don’t Let Them Die.”
Since being appointed the UN Spokesman on Peace and Poverty Eradication for Barbados and the OECS, AJA has introduced his work to several schools in Barbados, Bahamas and Dominica.
A planned trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines earlier this year was cancelled due to flooding on the island.
“I am happy to be here in St. Kitts to continue the work. I think it coincides tremendously with what the OECS and the Ministry (of Health) are doing, so I am here to assist them in getting the message across,” he added.
To his credit, he has inducted 500 students as Peace Act Ambassadors in 13 schools in Barbados to help stem the upsurge of violence in schools there.