By Romari Frith | IG: @romarifrith_
Growing up, I was only involved in things that I was truly passionate about: debate, science, leadership, and sports. Volunteerism was never a part of my life, so when Leneka Rhoden invited me to become a part of Shashamane Sunrise, I was somewhat indifferent.
Still, I joined the organization, and my first outing was to Windsor Forest Primary in Portland, Jamaica. Our visit entailed a back to school project in which we provided some basic utensils the students would need as they strived for excellence. The journey to Windsor Forest was long, but the enthusiasm of the Miss Jamaica World 2016 party and other volunteers kept it interesting. I was very anxious—I didn’t know what to expect from these children. But when we arrived, they were so excited that I completely forgot my nerves. The smiles, excitement, and admiration were evident in their faces before we even stepped off the bus. It was a learning experience for me. I was taught the core mandates of the organisation and how something as small as a pencil can change a child’s life. I was completely awestruck at the enthusiasm of the volunteers, teachers, and children. That feeling has stayed with me.
Today, volunteerism is one of my core passions and because of Shashamane Sunrise, I’ve participated in numerous projects and outreach programs. Since my first trip to Windsor Forest with Shash, I’ve visited the National Baptist Basic School, the Maxfield Park Children’s Home (twice), and I’ve returned to Windsor Forest on two separate occasions, for Career day and Graduation. I’ve also attended several Shash Socials to Mobay and Dolphin Cove.
Through Shashamane, I saw first-hand that a pencil goes a long way. I am honoured to be a part of such an amazing initiative and hope that we will continue to change the lives of students for a better Jamaica. #InspireOne
Romari Frith is an Economics student, Youth Leader, and Shash Volunteer.