OBey YouthCare, The Tsocanos Family of New Canaan, CT and Reggae Artist Mystic Bowie sponsored a week long Cultural Exchange in the spring of 2015 in historic Accompong, Jamaica. The exchange took place in the Sovereign nation where Maroons live on sacred grounds of the ancient Africans that escaped slavery centuries ago. Mystic Bowie is the Grassroots Ambassador of Accompong, boasting his extensive knowledge of Maroon history and founding the Mystic Bowie Cultural Center. “There is not one day that goes by that the community does not mention your names,” said Mystic Bowie as he explained the impact that the cultural exchange had on community members.
The exchange featured OBey’s Drums 4 Life sending over 30 drums and smaller percussions; conducting African drum and dance classes; arts and crafts classes; drum tuning and repair workshops; storytelling; costume making; community development. All of this was made possible from contributions and donations from Kim and Mark Tsocanos and their family. Iya Sawu and Iya Basimah brought their 35 plus years of African dance and history to the community and taught West African dance, storytelling, singing and costume making. Eva Tsocanos, Julia Kahn, and Elaine Rojas volunteered their services in the area of early childhood development, arts and crafts, filming, photography, dance and drumming.
OBey YouthCare planted a valuable seed in the hearts and souls of Accompong and we are confident that we will return to enjoy the fruits of our collective labor in 2016 for more training.This was the first project that OBey YouthCare extended its reach beyond Ghana, West Africa. The OBey Foundation Board of Directors voted to extend the OYC services beyond Ghana because of the need throughout the Diaspora.
Thank you to all of our supporters!