YOUTH LEADERS & VOLUNTEERS
We are blessed to have many great volunteers, sometimes from all over the world, come here to our organization. They offer
their time and their energy, in order for us to be able to execute our many activities. Without them, we are nothing!
Guyquade Lavia (Budu) previously taught Djembe drumming on the island of St. Vincent and he is now the instructor for the Djembe drumming group called Mankind, which was established under Child Focus Foundation in May 2014. Through this experience, he hopes to take this generation back to their roots, as it teaches the youth about their missing culture. The hand-made drums originating from West Africa have been known to be played during times of celebration, war, draught and liberation. The goal of Mankind is to revive what our ancestors left behind for us.
According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which translates to "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose.
José (Zé) Gomes has been practicing capoeira for 11 years. He has achieved the belt blue/green, which makes him one of the higher graduates of capoeira. He moved from the Cape Verde islands to the Netherlands at age 6 and he has been practicing capoeira with Mestre Araminho in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Mestre Araminho is originally from Fortaleza, Brazil. Capoeira is a form of martial arts, which includes a variation of movements, acrobatics, music and has an ambiance different from any other form of martial arts. Capoeira does not have to be taken lightly. The movements require the use of the entire body. After a session of capoeira you will feel muscles that you have never felt before! Capoeira also teaches to have respect for people of higher authority; therefore, it requires discipline. You will experience different ways of moving your body, learning to play instruments and songs and also the importance of having respect for others.
Peter Johnson will be staying on Saba for at least one year after recently graduating with a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was taught to play chess in Saba by his elementary school teacher, Michael Teixeira, in Saba's The Double Rook Chess Club. Chess is the game of kings and emperors, peasants and paupers. In its 1500 years, chess has started and stopped wars, pushed people to become beautiful geniuses, and also driven people madly insane. Come see for yourself what the excitement is all about!
Andrew Boileau (Dr. Drew) is an associate Professor and Course Director of Neuroscience at the Saba University School of Medicine. He enjoys having an active role in our community. Dr. Drew started playing chess at 7 years old and he has also taught some people to play one-on-one.
Dr. Drew thinks that children should get involved in chess because it helps develop patience, strategic planning and logic, plus it's fun, and one of the truly international games. Dr. Drew and Peter will be working together to teach chess to ages 8-14 on Friday afternoons.
Coach Rodrick Lovell left his homeland of Guyana when he was 19 and moved to St. Maarten and then Saba, where he started to coach boxing for the first time, although he started training in the sport since he was 8 years old. He was inspired to pursue boxing by his older brother who was also a boxer. Training sessions for boxing also include hiking, jogging and weightlifting. Students are divided into groups according to their ages. Participants have been to tournaments in Aruba and St. Maarten, which were made possible by the Saba Amateur Boxing Association.
Here’s his take on the sport: “I love boxing, but self-discipline is key. What makes me proud of my students is to see them have the courage to step into the ring. It doesn’t matter if they win or lose. It takes a lot of heart to step into the ring and once you can do that, you have my respect."
Carmen Simmons has been active with the Girls and Boys Sports Society for 53 years. She enjoys seeing the children having fun and enjoying themselves. Children who attend this activity get to participate in arts and crafts, piano lesson and singing. Mrs. Carmen Simmons has touched the lives of many children throughout the years and she will continue to give her time, love and patience to the youth. Mrs. Carmen Simmons has been a role model and a shining example for many of us. We admire her motivation and passion for what she does.
Olga Miranda Simmons is presently giving homework support to children in Grades 1, 2 and 4. at the Sacred Heart School. She started teaching in 1993 and received her teaching degree at the University of the Virgin Islands. Homework support is pivotal in helping students to maintain their grades and gain a deeper understanding of the material discussed in class. Thanks to Teacher Miranda, students are able to achieve on a higher level.
Noemi Claire Mandolado or better known as Claire is the youth leader for the Arts & Crafts activity for ages 4-7. Claire has previous experience in carrying out reading, crafts, and facilitating play time activities at a Bible school in her home country of The Philippines. She is currently a teacher's aide at the Sacred Heart School in Saba. Claire takes time to plan creative and fun craft sessions for the two age groups (Age 4-5 on Tuesdays and age 6-7 on Thursday). Children have an opportunity to learn and grow while they use their imagination to create whimsical and inspiring art projects.