St. Lucian roots reggae performer and philanthropist Taj Weekes was selected for the St. Lucia House Foundation’s Humanitarian Award for his dedication to humanitarian efforts. Weekes received this prestigious award at the 33rd Anniversary of Independence Gala on Saturday, February 25 at the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, New York. The gala was part of a series of activities in New York celebrating St. Lucia’s 33rd anniversary of independence from Great Britain. See excerpts with a link to the full article below:
In 2007, Weekes founded a charity—They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO)—aimed at improving the lives of underprivileged Caribbean children through a variety of sports, health, and enrichment programs.
Weekes was named a Goodwill Ambassador by the International Consortium of Caribbean Professionals and recognized by a division of the United Nations. Through his music, Weekes addresses several crucial issues, including global warming, casualties of war, domestic and youth violence, diabetes and health, poverty, and the welfare of children.
In 2011, the internationally celebrated artiste returned home to participate in the World-Renowned Saint Lucia Jazz Festival for the first time. Later that year, TOCO collected generous donations of balls, uniforms, shoes, socks, and gear, as well as money to fund its mission trips. TOCO also collected 5000 shoe donations from various elementary schools. The shoes were sent to Haiti as earthquake recovery aid. In addition to their annual collection of soccer equipment, TOCO has expanded its program to include an annual toy drive and educational workshops.
In December 2011, Weekes returned to St. Lucia to launch TOCO’s First Annual Holiday Toy Drive, distributing toys to children in need and feeding the elderly at community center in Castries, Saint Lucia. In 2012, TOCO plans to expand to other Caribbean islands, with stops in Trinidad, Tobago, and Haiti; the group also plans a lecture tour targeting high schools and colleges across the Caribbean.
Listen to Taj Weekes’ “Rain Rain” here:
For original article, see http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2012/3/2012_02_17_sub_taj_weekes.html
For video on Weekes—“Essence of an Artist”—see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wJI3X_nrow