Over the last 5 months, Amashika & Associates Limited executed the first free colouring online workshops for children islandwide and in the diaspora under the #LetsGetColouring campaign to combat child stress and anxiety.
“Through our local print partnership with the Jamaica Observer, we had an estimated reach of 1.5 million readers, about 250 participants in the online sessions and 185 activity packs donated to schools and community groups” said Principal Director Amashika Lorne, as she deemed it a success for her communications firm.
The online sessions executed under the name Colour With Aunty Ama commenced in January 2021, and consisted of participants acquiring their colouring pages, crayons, a device to join the session on Zoom and we guided by their instructor for the 60 minutes – 1 hours and 15 minutes sessions.
The sessions, which had an average of 35-50 participants in each session included children in two state-run children’s homes and one of the house mothers recanted what the experience was like.
“We’re always looking for new ways to keep our children engaged. When Amashika shared that she would like to involve some of our children, explained that once we had access to getting copies of the Learning Corner in the Jamaica Observer, internet access and the space, we would be able to participate and I said sure. We have a range of 6-12 year olds participate in the sessions and even won prizes. It’s a unique activity and they are already asking when is the next session with Aunty Ama,” said Alicia Richardson, from the S.O.S. Children’s Village in St. Andrew.
Joanie Hibberts said that while her family was looking forward to taking their first family vacation to Jamaican in 2020, “this activity allowed her 8 year old daughter to still feel connected to the place of her roots; where her parents were born by learning a few Jamaican phrases and some simple but effective colouring tips that can help her in her Art & Craft class for school”.
Toni-Ann Williams, a current reading parish-finalist said “my daddy got me the colouring book with the images as a present to help me occupied when I don’t have online classes but I like joining the session with Aunty Ama because we get to win prizes and she is really nice, almost like a real aunty to us even though we have not met her up close. I always mark my calendar for the next session so that I don’t miss it.”
Although it was the first iteration of the series, strong corporate support poured in from the presenting sponsors Sagicor Group Limited and Garco Construction Limited. While Flavour Fresh, PediaSure, Seprod, Jamaican Care Packages and Jamaica Nice also ably supported the child-friendly colouring series which had a new theme monthly.
When asked about the future plans for the colouring series, Lorne shared that , “I’m grateful to my personal team, the corporate entities that decided a take a risk with me to execute my vision and address an issue that our children continue facing. When I started the communications firm, I hadn’t quite envisioned us taking on this kind of content creation so in-depth, however working with children has a special place in my heart and as such it’s not a surprise. Our summer plans are still being tweaked but the parents and children can rest assured that we will continue to colour together over the summer period and beyond”.
Lorne shared that some of her favourite moments were when the youngest when our youngest participant, Ameera, and her mommy Robi-Ann Williams shared their images as a colouring clash for the principal director Lorne to vote for the best piece.
Also highlighted as a favourite moment, was the receival of endorsement from the Reggae Month Secretariat
Amashika & Associates Limited is a Jamaican-based communications firm specializing in public relations and media management, as well as the production of Jamaican content for educational purposes.