First Look

Waterhouse Culture Group works with Peace Management Initiative to produce peace film

EUROPEAN UNION | 2015-03-27 00:00:00

The Peace Management Initiative (PMI) has embarked on new ground with the production of a film "Living in Waterhouse - the change within" aimed at promoting peace among youth and showcasing the work of the organisation. A private presentation of the film was done recently by the community to Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, Head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica Ambassador Paola Amadei and members of the Area 4 police. The 40 minute film was written by the Waterhouse Culture Group and produced in collaboration with Nice Time Productions (Producers of Songs of Redemption). 

The production of "Living in Waterhouse-the change within" is one of several initiatives being undertaken by the PMI among 500 youths in 10 communities through funding from the EU supported Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP) through a grant of  € 250,000 (which at today's exchange rate is calculated at J$32.6 million). The project begun in February 2014 and will run up to August 2015, providing peace building and behaviour change support to at risk youths. The objective is to provide alternative livelihood training and complementary income generating opportunities; monitoring and psycho-social support and violence-detachment. 

PMI Project Manager Damion Hutchinson explained that the idea for the film came after engaging the youths in Waterhouse and realising that most of them were artistic with talent in drama and music. "We had been engaging the group for some time but when the EU funding came it provided an opportunity to keep them interested by developing those areas which they love and expand on their skills through training in theatre performance, video production, audio and scripting." 

The film depicts the choices which must be made between violence and peace as well illustrates responsible actions when faced with situations of teenage pregnancy and gang involvement. It also shows the ultimate fate of those who make poor choices as well as the unity and peace which can result when persons in conflict choose to forgive.

Speaking of the impact that the film could have on youths who often see violence as the only option Minister Bunting noted that it depicted areas of focus that the ministry has also identified. "A number of sub-plots in the movie showed how people could make a choice and they didn’t have to follow the usual script. Somebody harms you and reprisal counters reprisal and at the end of the day instead of one funeral you have multiple funerals and nobody in the community is any better off. One of the things that we have recognised is that we have to change the norms; we have to change the thinking of people around using violence to resolve issues. Adding violence to challenges doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse."

For her part, Ambassador Amadei commended the PMI on its multidimensional approach "….which resulted in such an authentic production is proof that when an initiative is delivered in such a way as to "put its finger on the pulse" of the beneficiaries' realities- powerful outcomes are possible. Initiatives such as these which empowers beneficiaries and move them to action, to improve themselves, their communities and the wider Jamaica by being a part of positive change is exactly why we support organizations such as the PMI"

The PMI and Nice Time Productions are currently in the process of assisting the group to be registered  as an official business. As part of sustaining the work of the group, in the near future the film will be provided online at a cost. It will also be used as a tool in among other youth groups with which the PMI is engaged. 




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