BET Centric and LIAT on board for second Year of the Child Concert in Dominica

AGSelectPR, KINGSTON, Wednesday, March 24th 2010: BET Centric and LIAT have joined Dominica Beverage and Brewery Ltd., Fort Young Hotel, and LIME as sponsors of the second in the Year of the Child Concert Series headlined by Arturo Sandoval, Arturo Tappin, marie-claire and Jakoostick Musical Ensemble.


Footage from the jazz-themed event will be shown on SPLASH!, a BET Centric programme featuring Caribbean lifestyle and music. According to Splash’s executive producer Kibwe McGann, one of its mandates is to show the charitable efforts of Caribbean entertainers. “We recently featured Shaggy’s concert benefiting the Bustamante Children’s Hospital in Jamaica, for example. Also, one of our hosts Leah Marville, has a charity called The Love Campaign, which focuses on children living with HIV/AIDS. Year of the Child deals with charity as well as music, thus we saw that we could easily merge both products.” Leah will be joined by co-host Crystal Cunningham for the live taping that will air in late April/early May.

LIAT is also assisting this effort by providing travel for artists to Dominica. In addition, the event will receive coverage in the airline’s in-flight magazine Zing.

According to Year of the Child Concert Committee member Anna Raffoul, these two major sponsorships bode well for the organization as they will directly result in greater exposure to the public. “Millions of BET Centric Viewers and thousands of LIAT passengers will learn about what we are trying to accomplish with this concert series. It is our hope that they will also become aware of the issues we are dealing with such as at risk youth, HIV/AIDS, education for example, and find their own way of contributing whether it is by attending a future show or donating directly to a charitable organization of their choosing.”

The concert which takes place on March 27th at the Dominica State House Grounds, will feature 4-time Grammy award winning, Cuban-born Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, Jazz Saxophonist Arturo Tappin of Barbados, Jakoostick Musical Ensemble from Jamaica and local Opera singer marie-claire who is also part of the organizing committee. Guest artistes from Guadeloupe, Trinidad and Dominica will also perform on the show dubbed “Music For Life.” Proceeds will assist the National HIV/AIDS programme in their Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) project as well as Fouche La Vie, whose mission is “to create a supportive, protective, healthy enabling environment for orphans and vulnerable children affected by or infected with HIV and AIDS in Dominica.”

The first Year of the Child Concert, headlined by Reggae artists Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel and Nelly Stharre was held on January 9th at Krazy Koconuts. A check for ECD$20,000.00 from its proceeds was presented to Camp Rescue, an organization providing life skills to at risk youth. The five members of the Year of the Child Concert Series Committee—Cornell Phillip, Anna Raffoul, Emile Raffoul, marie-claire, and Nelly Stharre, are encouraged by the support of the Dominican public towards their efforts to enhance the lives of local children. Look out for upcoming shows throughout 2010 featuring a variety of Caribbean talent at various locations throughout the island.

SPLASH is a Caribbean music and lifestyle show aired on BET Centric Saturday’s at 8AM and 2AM with repeats on Wednesdays at 10PM. SPLASH! celebrates the explosion of Caribbean talent on the international stage by including engaging features and profiles on celebrities and personalities such as Shaggy, Asafa Powell, Lennox Lewis, Konshens, Hal Linton and Shontelle Layne just to name a few. SPLASH! is executive produced by Jamaican Kibwe McGann (former executive producer of BET J’s Wicked Style). The show, which has covered 9 islands withn the region, as well as South Africa, has three hosts shows hosts are: Miss Barbados World 2009 Leah Marville (who also placed 17th in the 2009 Miss World pageant and was crowned Miss World Caribbean Continential Queen 2009, she was also voted Sexiest Woman in the World 2009 by Global Beauties), international actress and model Crystal Cunningham from Trinidad who along with Leah is a Saint International model and Tamara Eniss from Jamaica, formerly of Newstalk 93 FM at UWI Mona Campus. BET Centric (formerly BET on Jazz, BET Jazz and BET J) was launched in 2009 and is available in 28 million homes in the US and an additional 8 million in the Caribbean. It is a general interest channel geared towards African-American adults.

(SPLASH! on Facebook)

Founded on in 1956, Leeward Island Air Transport (LIAT) operates a high-frequency inter-island scheduled service to 21 destinations in the Caribbean. The airline is headquartered on the grounds of the V.C Bird International Airport in Antigua.

AGSelectPR is a boutique public relations firm specializing in the Entertainment Industry. The company aims to create and execute successful communications campaigns for its clients. Central to the company is the goal of relationship building with clients; as well as media sources, that disseminate AGSPR’s releases; and the general public, to whom we are introducing our clientele. The company is based in Jamaica and is a division of On Target Communications Group.

In Dominica, the first reported case of a person infected by HIV and AIDS was in 1987.The first pediatric case was also reported in 1987. At end of year 2007, 300 persons had been reported as infected with HIV, fifteen of those being children below the age of eighteen. Of these, four have been known to have died of AIDS and three are currently enrolled in the National Care and Treatment Programme. Two children have been diagnosed as being negative. Two have migrated to the nearby French colonies with parents. The other five have been lost to follow up. The children of the 285 other known infected persons, of whom about 118 have died, have not been officially followed up and may be in need of care support and management. Fear of the unknown, stigma and discrimination, inadequate care, expensive available treatment, and the compliance of providers to observe the rights of persons to not disclose their status without consent may have been contributing factors to persons not disclosing to relatives and children about their infection; thus leaving most of the exposed children vulnerable. These factors combine with an environment of poverty, internal and external migration limited health and financial resources, inadequate provider training compound the restriction of the provision of much needed services and support not only to orphans and vulnerable children but all persons living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

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