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NCCU Kids in Culture Program Launch

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Kids in Culture
NCCU Kids in Culture-Photo credit NCCU

PRESS RELEASE

On Friday, September 29th, the eve of the official opening of this year’s Independence celebrations, Your Community Financial Partner the National Cooperative Credit Union launched Kids in Culture – Ti Zanfan Kolte.

The institution being concerned about the decline in the vivacity and presence of our Dominican culture among the youth felt the immense need as it continues to rebrand and reshape not just the look but the feel of the NCCU, to pay attention to the preservation of the Dominican culture. NCCU’s Kids in Culture Program, Ti Zanfan Kolte speaks to NCCU’s love for all things Dominican. The program is ongoing at seven (7) schools across the island. Students are taught a range of traditional dances including Quadrille, Heel and Toe, and Bele.

Minister for Education Mrs. Octavia Alfred lamented the fact that because our young people are not indoctrinated into our national culture, there is an ease to adopt other cultures instead. She riled up the attendees with accounts of the years before and how our National Attire and music would be used to depict certain moods and occurrences. She spoke of how dance shapes the lives of individuals and in essence, is a way to relieve troubles whether in a cultural or church setting. She commended the NCCU for making the effort to help not only preserve but augment the visibility of the Dominican culture and expressed that if anything is to be adopted it must be introduced early like with the Kids in Culture program.

Echoing the sentiments of Mrs. Alfred was the Honourable Minister for Culture, Youth, Sports and Community Development, Ms. Gretta Roberts who conveyed that initiatives like these only make an impact and have meaning when concrete action is taken towards protecting our valued norms, customs, and traditions passed on from our forefathers. In this regard, Ms. Roberts expressed how impressed she is with the initiative from the NCCU. According to her, a big idea contained in three little words, Kids in Culture with the opportunity to make a significant difference and have a major impact on our children’s view of our culture and the role they play in its preservation.

Chief Cultural Officer, Earlson Matthew, considered it an honour to be at the launch of the program as the Cultural Division is happy to be involved in any activity towards cultural development more so one that has youth at the heart of it. He urged other corporate entities to make moves to assist in the increase in awareness of our culture. Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer Mr. Jeffrey Blaize added his sentiments to the timeliness of Kids in Culture as the ministry places emphasis on training its teachers in areas outside of vocational aspects in recognition of the many talents harnessed by our youth as some of the teachers are the ones teaching and working with the students under the Kids in Culture program.

President of the NCCU Board of Directors Mr. McDowill Paul, spoke of the institution’s elation at the launch of the program. The President spoke of initiatives like these being at the very core of NCCU as its bylaws speak to contribution to educational, developmental, and cultural causes in Dominica.

The schools participating in NCCU’s Kids in Culture are:

  • The S.P.I.C.E.S Center
  • Grand Fond Primary School
  • St Luke’s Primary School
  • Mahaut Primary School
  • Castle Bruce Primary School
  • Jones Beaupierre Primary School
  • and Paix Bouche Primary School

The first appearance from Ti Zanfan Kolte came on the grand Independence Opening Stage on Saturday as the audience was treated to the tiny dancer’s performance of the traditional Heel and Toe. The Dominican public can look out for more performances from the Kids in Culture at various independence activities this year.