TAJ WEEKES ♦ UNICEF CHAMPION FOR CHILDREN
On November 19, 2013, St. Lucian musician and philanthropist Taj Weekes was officially appointed as a UNICEF Champion for Children in St. Lucia. His appointment is recognition by UNICEF of his tireless efforts on behalf of the children of St. Lucia through his work with TOCO. "UNICEF is very pleased to have Taj Weekes on board as we work on bringing together a network of credible voices to advocate for the rights of Caribbean Children. His passion to care for children though his music and philanthropic work are the perfect ingredients to be UNICEF's Champion for Children in St. Lucia, his home country. We look forward to working closely with him in applying his creative talents and networking skills to highlight the plight of children in St Lucia. UNICEF will also help him link up with other Champions for Children in the Eastern Caribbean countries to have the strength of numbers for a powerful Voice for Children,” states UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean Area, Ms. Khin-Sandi Lwin. When asked what it meant to him to be named a UNICEF Champion for Children, Weekes said, "the power of UNICEF not only legitimizes the work I do through TOCO but will also allow me to help even more children."
Weekes will specifically be working to launch the Break The Silence Campaign (BTS), a global initiative embraced by several countries to advocate for the rights of children and raise awareness of a wide range of issues including physical and sexual abuse. To move this initiative forward, Weekes will be working with St. Lucia's Ministry of Health, Gender and Social Development and other government entities to work on issues such as health, education and equality for all children.
UNICEF representatives and Weekes traveled to St. Lucia in July. The purpose of the trip was to have Weekes engage with St. Lucian youth to better understand the issues that they face today. The team visited RISE, the Boys Training Centre and a transit home in Gros Islet, and a camp for disadvantaged children as well as participated in several media appearances to discuss the BTS initiatives.
Click here to learn more about UNICEF's Break the Silence Campaign.