Rebel Salute, is undoubtedly the Caribbean's best Roots Reggae festival, providing a conscious vibe and consistently high-quality cultural celebration. The event has brought together thousands of patrons from all over the world for the last 24 years, exposing generations to the fundamentals as well as the evolutions within reggae music.
Guided by the principles of healthy living, and strong cultural expression and retention- Rebel Salute has laid the groundwork for the outreach programs that are being undertaken under the banner of the Rebel Salute Foundation. Foundation origins The official registration of the Foundation, back in 2013, was a move to formalize what was already be done, over the years, to lend support to a variety of causes. It is in giving that we received. The Rebel Salute team has always taken the initiative to support persons and institutions in need prior to the setup of the Foundation- and donated to a range of causes from medical treatments to providing much needed equipment to schools.
In October 2013 we hosted the inaugural award ceremony for the Teach the Children Scholarship, inspired no doubt by Tony Rebel's 1993 hit single. The Teach the Children Scholarship represents the flagship program of the officially registered Rebel Salute Foundation. Since then, the Foundation has consistently supported two very talented and motivated individuals from Marcus Garvey Technical High School. The school is named after a man whose principles we hold dear and is located just minutes away from the festival home ground- Grizzly’s Plantain Cove, St. Ann. As part of the scholarship programme, one male and one female student has received scholarship cheques of JA$60,000 annually.
The disbursement covers auxiliary fees, lunch as well as transportation for the academic year. This scholarship, which started in their first year of high school, was renewable each year until the students’ 5th form graduation- which was in July of this year. The conditions for the scholarship included maintaining good academic performance and discipline. I am truly happy to report that both students performed consistently well despite challenging circumstances and we could not have been more proud. It is our intention to select 2 new scholarship recipients for 2018 and to hopefully extend the program by adding new scholars yearly. The Foundation’s current activities also include support to the Area 2 Division of the Jamaica Police Constabulary Force by way of their High School Debating Competition, which caters to schools within the parishes of Portland, St. Mary and St. Ann.
We are pleased to be a part of this initiative as the competition, serves as a great platform for the students’ intellectual and social development. In the last 4 years, we also supported other activities such as - the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Torch Run for Jamaica’s special olympics athletes and have also sponsored the Area 2 Police (which covers St. Ann) Annual incentive Awards Banquet. Earlier this year, we also supported a very special initiative by Irie FM to honour music legend- Jimmy Cliff and donated 2 computers to the Somerton All Age and Infant School, located in his rural hometown in Montego Bay, St. James. The Rebel Salute Foundation, in partnership with Recycling Partners of Jamaica, introduced recycling activities FOR THE FIRST TIME to Rebel Salute in January 2017. With numerous collection bins spread across the festival grounds, a team of amazing volunteers worked nightly to encourage patrons to recycle their plastic containers. Recycling was incorporated for the 2nd time at Rebel Salute in January 2018. We partnered with the British Council to facilitate students to develop their skills in the technical areas of production for Rebel Salute 2018.
Students including some from Alpha here in Jamaica, Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia participated in several areas of production. It is our intention to continue to build on the ways in which we aid in Jamaica’s development- Our goal, is to ultimately create sustainable outreach programmes in the areas of music, healthy living and environmental protection. One of our ulimate goals is to institute a programme which provides young Jamaicans with training opportunities in music both locally and internationally.
Also, we are working towards the introduction of a programme aimed at donating musical equipment to schools and wider communities where they may best be of benefit. I therefore want to encourage everyone to be on the lookout for further announcements in relation to our upcoming programmes as well as a stronger presence from the Foundation at the festival in time to come. I want to close by encouraging like-minded individuals to partner with us moving forward. Further details about the Foundation can be found on the festival’s website – www. rebelsalutejamaica.com I thank you.