Son of the Soil Brings…
A NEW HOPE FOR CONTENT
As unassuming and brightly welcoming of all Charles Peart is, you may not immediately know he founded and built one of the most successful artiste promotion and management businesses having started International House of Music over 25 years ago in Canada, and taking it worldwide. Among his long time clients (and close friend) is Bokeem Woodbine ( Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ray, Dead Presidents)
But Peart, along with his partner Giselle - a nurse - had a special place in his heart for the community of Content in St Catherine, from whence hail his mother and her mother before. A deep rural community (near the border with Clarendon) lacking infrastructure, residents support themselves almost exclusively through farming and show great resilience in coping with the challenges.
Using the resources at hand, Peart and Giselle set about changing the lot of the community - starting with the children. Through his efforts and funds, they collaborated with local teachers to establish the Hilltop Early Childhood Centre, a basic school providing academics and inspiration to children ages 3 to 6.
Now, Charles Peart is seeking to deepen that philanthropic and community development thrust through his latest initiative, the Global Student Development Foundation, which had its “initial presentation “ at a meet and greet at the Jamaica Pegasus recently.
At the function – chaired by Emprezz Golding – the two reiterated their passion for the community and the people and the need to help ensure a good start in life for the children through quality education. “I love my people, and I really want to see everyone get the shot at success which they deserve, and we believe passionately that education is the key to that” he said.
Those values found an eagerly welcoming ear in the person of newly appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of foreign affairs, Pearnel Charles Jr, who noted the efforts of the Jamaican-Canadian couple and pledged his "100% full support" to the project, as did Member of Parliament for the area, Natalie Neita Headley, who is well acquainted with the work of the Hilltop principal, chairperson and staff.
UNIA President, Steven Golding made the important link between the project and the Garveyite tenets of communal self-reliance and combating ignorance. Woodbine, though unable to be physically present, conveyed his own fervent support for the programme.
At evening's end (at least the formal part of the programme) guests were treated to a sparkling performance by "Mr Diamond Socks" himself, Iba Mahr who also has strong ties to the community and has also both pledged and personally given his support in respect of committing his time and resources.
That done, it was left to enjoy the hospitality of the Jamaica Pegasus and to continue the process of making great connections....all in support of early childhood education and Jamaica's development.