Garifuna youth take part in New York internship program

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NEW YORK, USA — The “Lirahüñü Chatoyer” (Chatoyer’s Children) Garifuna Youth Leadership Development Program participants are currently participating in the BRONXNET Internship Program in New York.

Student interns are trained in all phases of TV production and management and participate in all aspects of the production of BRONXNET’s arts and public affairs programming.

BRONXNET’s interns are trained in several areas of television production, administration and engineering. Production interns develop a wide range of skills including editing, shooting, studio operations and journalism. Interns also learn engineering techniques and help maintain equipment and ensure that programs get on air.

Interns receive continuous training and evaluation from senior staff in all areas of production. They also receive formal, hands-on training from video trainers who have years of experience teaching and directing for television and film. Student interns are trained in all phases of TV production and management and participate in all aspects of the production of BRONXNET’s arts and public affairs programming.

Over the past eight weeks, program participants have gained knowledge and awareness about fundamental principles and information they need to succeed, including personal growth, building resiliency, leadership development, academic success, career awareness and the Garifuna culture.

The study of the Garifuna provides insight into a people whose history has been one of struggle and determination to survive at a time when very few people, or nations, were able to resist the onslaught of colonialism and slavery.

However, according to the late Andy Palacio, “Garifunas were represented as teachers, lawyers and police officers. What was lost through the years, however, was the distinct culture that evolved from the blending of African and Amerindian beliefs, language and traditions. Kids grew up not caring about the language or even the identity. "It just wasn’t cool to be Garifuna."

The erosion of the Garifuna culture and value system is seen to affect the self-esteem and performance as a people. The “Lirahüñü Chatoyer” (the children of Chief Joseph Chatoyer) program provides the fundamental principles and information that our youth need to succeed, including cultural awareness (Garifunaduaü (Garifunaness), the practice and maintenance of the customs, rites, and beliefs that promote identity.

“Participation in BRONXNET’s Internship Program will provide Garifuna youth an opportunity to share their experience through a video segment , giving them a powerful voice to transmit and promote their Garifuna pride,” said Sulma Arzu-Brown, managing director of the Garifuna Coalition.

The Garifuna Coalition considers it critical to identify, develop and cultivate young leaders. This will ensure that future generations of Garifunas not only have the skills and talent to support the Coalition but also become community leaders. Youth leadership development is key to building civic capacity and long-term community sustainability.

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