Congratulations and a huge well done to all the mentees who participated in our Boys Can Summer Competition, Be Resilient!
Held under the theme Be Resilient!, the inaugural staging of the Boys Can Summer Competition provided opportunities for participants in the Boys’ Can Mentoring Programme to channel their inner creativity and express how they are coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Participants submitted a variety of creative entries including songs, poetry, and stories.
The competition was inspired by a series of Boys Can online sessions held in June 2020 which focused on building resilience in the face of challenges such as how to continue studies during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the closure of schools. The virtual sessions provided an outlet for the boys to talk about such challenges and an opportunity to equip them with the tools needed to address them.
Our panel of judges, made up of representatives from our partner Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation, the British Council in Jamaica, and our programme mentors Verrol Blake, from the Boys Can Programme and Fabian Thomas, Boys' Can Training Facilitator; scored and assessed the winning entries.
We were really impressed by our mentees creativity and originality in showing us how they´re coping in lockdown and what resilience means to them! Below are our winning entries, as well as some of the boys' and judges' commentaries.
Winning entries for our Boys Can competition:
1st place: Rajae Hinds, from Greater Portmore High School for his song Coping with Covid 19
For someone unfamiliar with the Boys Can programme, one of our judges described Rajae´s piece as a perfect compendium of the programme and recent activities. Using both visuals and music, he has produced a piece with original and expressive lyrics, great rhythm and all-round production to show how he´s coping in lockdown and his vision of resilience. All in all, a fantastic effort and a worthy winner!
"Taking part in this competition was wonderful, I had a lot of motivators who pushed me to participate in the competition, with the motivation of my mother and guidance counsellor I came out victorious. Taking part in the British Council programme I have learnt a lot about self-esteem, coping with COVID and resilience. They have done a lot to motivate me to work hard towards my goal".
(Rajae Hinds, Boys Can competition winner)
2nd place: Newton Jackson, from Greater Portmore High School for his story The Twin
In his story, Newton uses his original style in an endearing and entertaining dialogue showing how a friend´s support helps him to cope in lockdown and stay resilient: all finished off with an ´elbow shake´ between friends!
“I enjoyed the music in the [Boys Can programme] online session, it was fun and very inspirational. I was afraid to enter the competition at first.. but the British Council and Mr Hibbert (school guidance counsellor) encouraged us so I built up my courage to enter and I came 2nd, so thanks to Almighty God, the British Council, Mr Hibbert and my mom”.
(Newton Jackson, Boys Can competition 2nd prize winner)
3rd place: Ricquan Chambers, from Greater Portmore High with his song Quarantine
Ricquan´s piece has great rhythm and lyrics to describe lockdown and how he´s coping. Strong vocals, a cool vibe and an overall great production! For the 16-year-old boy, this programme has pulled out the best in him:
"Sincere thanks to the British Council and Grace Foundation for the Boys Can programme. This programme has pulled out the best in all of us, and for this we are grateful. We have learned to be courageous, strong and motivated to go forward. I´m glad I took part in this competition because it really helped me to build my self-esteem and confidence".
(Ricquan Chambers, Boys Can competition 3rd prize winner)