“Spice It Up: Sing for Preparedness” – UNDP song competition launched

The United Nations Development Programme for Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States announced last Thursday, the launch of Spice It Up: Sing for Preparedness, national song competition, in partnership with the Barbados Red Cross Society, the Department of Management, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Royal Shop and the Barbados Light and Power Company Ltd. The contest, open to all Barbadians encourages participants to promote youth volunteerism in disaster preparedness through song, for a chance to win an Ipad, cash prizes between $400 to $1000 Barbados dollars and watches, amongst other prizes.

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

The top 10 singers will compete in a concert, which will take place during the month of July. The winning song will be converted into a music video, while the five best songs from each country, Barbados and Grenada, will be recorded in a professional studio to be placed on a common CD, which will be distributed to schools, National Disaster Agencies, Media and donor agencies throughout the Caribbean.

The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough pointed out that, while youth volunteerism present many opportunities for young people to make valuable contributions in society, reaching young people through traditional methods to encourage their voluntary participation in disaster preparedness and response has been a challenge.

Therefore, innovative ways of reaching this group which comprises 60% of the population of the Caribbean is necessary. “We therefore must find new avenues to increase awareness to achieve action oriented impacts and results that reach the targeted audiences to promote behaviour change. Spice it Up: Sing for Preparedness is a part of this new approach for engagement,” she said.

The UNDP Youth Innovation (Youth-IN) project, through activities like the song competition, offers such an opportunity by building on the established platform of rich history and tradition with an innovative spin to raise the awareness of climate change and disaster risks while supporting cultural creativity, and promoting local talent on national and regional levels. Instrumentals covering a wide range of genres, will be made available to entrants, available for download on the Barbados Red Cross’ website.

The concert which takes place next month, will be part of “Awareness Fun Day” that will display information booths and host, activities for children, cultural exhibitions and games. To enter the contest, participants are required to write a song on either disasters or climate change, and post their demo online at www.barbadosredcross.org, on or before, Sunday, 1st July 2012.

Youth-IN, is a UNDP cost-shared project funded by the Government of Italy, Youth-IN: A Caribbean Network for Youth Development project is a part of a larger UNDP Barbados and the OECS programme and advancing youth participation in governance, strengthening capacities in youth , entrepreneurship, creative industries, gender, culture and sports through the use of innovative media and social networking modalities.

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