Chat Tu Mi And Colour Jamaica
Commonwealth Point of Light 207. Amashika Lorne
Amashika Lorne, representing Jamaica, aged 30, is a community leader and the creator of ‘Chat Tu Mi & Colour’ (Chat To Me & Colour), a free children’s colouring book designed to create bilingual consciousness among the general populace and assist with the intergenerational transmission of Jamaican Patois culture.
The book has reached over 1.5 million readers through a partnership with national newspaper the ‘Jamaican Observer’, as well through online workshops, which ran from January to May 2021, with more than 250 people participating each month. Amashika has also donated colouring activity packs to school groups and vulnerable communities and is further working to help preserve and document aspects of Jamaican history for younger generations.
“This is certainly a pleasant surprise and I’m humbled by the recognition. Giving back to others has been ingrained in me from a tender age and being able to find a unique way to positively impact children in particular during this period of sustained isolation is a blessing. I’m filled with a great sense of national pride knowing that my efforts have impacted hundreds of Jamaican youth in an uplifting and engaging way, while further instilling that sense of patriotism and appreciation for culture we need from the upcoming generation. The end product of my vision, the ‘Chat Tu Mi Colour’ (Talk To My Colour) colouring book was the selected, child-friendly way to document and preserve a part of Jamaica’s intangible culture, our proverbs and their meanings, as I push forward with my advocacy for our language to be nationally recognised alongside English. The work continues but this is testament that once you’re passionate, dedicated and have a strong support system then results will come.”
Judith Slater, British High Commissioner to Jamaica, said:
“Amashika’s portfolio of community projects is really impressive, especially when considered in the context of COVID. She is a shining example of all that is good about Jamaica and I hope the award will inspire others to emulate her. The emphasis Amashika places on preserving culture is also a standout trait, and something which can only help to enhance Jamaica’s global reputation as a vibrant, dynamic and creative nation.”