Engaging sets at Int'l Women's Day Concert

By Sade Gardner
Observer writer

Saturday, March 10, 2018

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The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will donate $4 million to the Office of the Children's Advocate to assist children in need.

Dr Kevin Harvey, Caribbean regional director of the AHF made the announcement at the International Women's Day free concert, held on Thursday at the National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew.

“We're making $4 million available for their office to use to help children in need. So for instance, if they were to visit a children's home and find that girls need sanitary pads — and we find that they can't go to school without it if they don't have any — that funding will help to provide the supply. It is also to help with small educational grants, back-to-school items, and toiletries. This is part of a global initiative by the AHF, so other countries like Haiti, Dominica, Trinidad and places in Africa are benefiting,” Dr Harvey told the Jamaica Observer.

The event also featured the debut song, video and performance of the AHF's current, year-long campaign, I am somebody. Don't turn your back on me, which aims to empower youth. The track was performed by Janice Solomon and the Ardenne High School Choir.

The concert was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in collaboration with the AHF.

Attendees rolled out in full and were treated to performances by Bounty Killer, Judy Mowatt, Leroy Sibbles, Queen Ifrica, Carlene Davis, Tony Rebel, I-Octane, Kevin Downswell, Rondell Positive, Richie Stephens, Nesbeth, Aisha Davis, Mr Lexx, Koffee, Naomi Cowan and Davianah.

All acts delivered engaging performances, but gospel act Kevin Downswell kept the crowd standing, dancing, jumping and singing throughout his time on stage. Downswell performed crowd favourites like Already Done, You Make Me Stronger, If It's Not You (Then Lord It's Nothing) and his 2018 release I Feel Like Running.

Queen Ifrica also got the crowd revved up as she told women to respect their bodies and themselves. She also spoke about gender mainstreaming.

“The feminist movement without the balance of the man will not work. Our brothers will understand us more if we understand ourselves... Some women don't even know that today is International Women's Day cause they're so deep in the struggle — some can't even go out and enjoy it,” she said.

Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia Grange said she was pleased with the staging of the show, which followed a symposium held earlier at the same venue.

“I am very happy with the turnout. The people enjoyed themselves and we wanted to end the day by celebrating the empowerment of our women,” said Grange.

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