'Get Up, Stand Up' against bullying - Optimist International allowed to use Bob Marley and the Wailers song free

The Bob Marley Estate has given the Optimist International Caribbean District (OICD) permission to use the Bob Marley and the Wailers hit Get Up, Stand Up free for a year as the official song of the OICD's anti-bullying human rights campaign.

The campaign's launch took place recently at the Junior Optimist International Caribbean Summit, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. In announcing the official song, OICD Governor Calvin A. Hunter said permission was granted by Bob Marley's daughter Cedella, who declared the initiative "great".

He said the song was selected because its words, particularly the chorus, would serve as a source of inspiration for those being bullied and have a sense of hopelessness.

The campaign runs from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018.

Governor General of Jamaica His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen and Governor General of Antigua Sir Rodney Williams have declared that period the Year of Optimists in Service to Children Affected by Poverty, Crime, and Violence.

"We want to encourage young people across the Caribbean to become social advocates around human rights, with a focus on fighting discrimination and bullying that often takes place within our schools and communities," said Hunter.




One of the highlights of the year's activities will be the #GetUpStandUpCampaign to include essay and oratorical contests on Optimist topics, youth fora, youth links through social media and advocacy programmes in schools and communities through Junior Optimist International chapters as well as adult clubs.

According to professor of child health, development and behaviour oat the University of the West Indies, Mona, Maureen Samms-Vaughan, the OICD anti-bullying human rights campaign is timely.

She noted that one out of three children in Jamaica has experienced bullying and eight to nine of 10 children received corporal punishment.

"Children who experience violence early in their life can have permanent negative changes in their brain, with them having difficulty learning and experiencing behavioural problems. Those who are exposed at primary and secondary levels also have challenges learning at school and have more disruptive behaviour, "said Samms-Vaughan.

She noted that in 2015, 261 million children across the world were exposed to peer violence or bullying.

The OICD will observe 2017-2018 under the theme Optimists Clubs ... Saving Children. The clubs will execute activities in Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, and Grand Cayman, including an anti-bullying human-rights programme for young people.

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