UNICEF Blog: Pick-Ni Cherry artist takes on dark secret of child sexual abuse

pick ni cherry kerron clarke unicef

Just published an interview I did with young author-illustrator-artist Kerron Clarke on the UNICEF Jamaica blog, about her illustrated novel Pick-Ni Cherry. The as-yet-unpublished novel is Kerron’s very personal attempt to warn children, families and society about sexual abuse happening within the home.

Herself a survivor of abuse, Kerron tells the story in a child’s voice, attempting to put us in the shoes of the most vulnerable and abused members of society. More than 1 in 5 Jamaican girls report forced sex. In many cases, the perpetrators aren’t strangers lurking in the dark. They are family members who are trusted and unsuspected.

Read the full interview here.


Working with UNICEF: new Jamaica blog + Facebook Free Basics

unicef jamaica connect blog

There’s actually solutions to many of Jamaican society’s problems available right here on the island. I’m blessed that my work with UNICEF provides an opportunity to highlight some of the solutions and not just the problems.

The UNICEF Jamaica blog aims to help the organisation and its partners to generate conversations around successful programmes to benefit children that the news cycle otherwise misses out on. These programmes might be those that reduce violence against children; improve their health or expand their learning potential. Continue reading


Giving up guns to give back: Ras Kassa film about peace activist Milton Tomlinson

“Ordained” is how Milton Tomlinson describes a life that has taken him from being the youth holding a gun, to a 43-year-old man who persuades younger versions of himself to put it down and pick up something more positive, namely the rest of their lives.

If his life in a soundbite sounds like a movie script treatment then that’s because it is –
now in the form of Before & After, a short film directed by Ras Kassa for the #KeepChildrenSafe initiative organised by the Office of the Children’s Advocate and UNICEF, supported by TVJ, JNN, The Gleaner and Do Good Jamaica. While the initiative examines ways to protect children from violence, the film re-tells how Tomlinson went from ‘badness’ to Kingston Peace Management Initiative (PMI) volunteer.

“QUIET ON SET!” yells the director as a packed but respectful backyard full of youths concentrate on acting out a confrontational scene from Milton’s childhood. These teenagers, in his home community of Mountain View, are holding up a mirror to Tomlinson’s own past. It is these youths and those of other communities who inspire him to do what has now become a full-time job. Continue reading