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Students address non-violence through art

Jhaneve Auguste of St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph.

The artistic talents of our young people were celebrated March 23 as they created art around the theme Non-Violence Begins With Me. Hosted by the Movement for Non-Violence (MNV), the art competition was open to all schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago and ran from February 19 to March 14.

The winners were:

Winning School (most entries): Longdenville Satya Sai Primary School

5–8 years:

1st – Isaiah Sobers, Tacarigua Presbyterian;

2nd – Varindra Rampersad, Longdenville Satya Sai Primary School;

3rd – Julian Samm, Arbor

9–12 years:

1st – Zane Herbert, Ibie Holistic Primary School;

2nd – Jewelle Henry, St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph;

3rd – Daniel Geary, St Andrews Private

13–16 years:

1st Rukesia Pierre;

2nd Jasmine Garcia;

3rd Bibi Aligour (all from St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph)

Special mention: Jhaneve Auguste (16, St Joseph’s Convent)

Susan Morgan, one of the organisers of the competition, reminded the audience at the prize-giving ceremony held at 101 Art Gallery, 84 Woodford Street, Port of Spain, that to make a change in society and reduce violence, the change must begin within ourselves.

She encouraged the attending parents, students, teachers and other guests that we all needed to look within ourselves and how we could be contributing to violence through our thoughts and actions. Morgan also explained that the art competition was meant to draw out what our children may be feeling about the rising violence in society, but do not have the opportunity to express these feelings.

The feedback from schools has been very encouraging as many of them are promoting active non-violence as part of culture building within their schools.

The MNV was established about two years ago when NGOs, community groups and individuals started meeting in response to the rising levels of violence in Trinidad and Tobago. The public awareness campaign officially began in March 2017 with “40 Hours of Prayer, 40 Days of Action” which included activities such as candlelight vigils throughout the country to honour victims of violence, talks at schools and various other locations and wearing blue on Fridays as blue is the colour of non-violence.

The campaign ended with a Peace Rally on Easter Monday 2017 in the Queen’s Park Savannah where many local artistes volunteered their time and talent to this event. The MNV is working to have the art displayed at locations throughout the country and these will be advertised. – Candice Clarke Salloum