Lady Saw laying a foundation

“The letter was written by someone, on behalf of a young girl who, despite a terrible, terrible situation at home, was able to graduate from one of top high schools in Kingston and is now at one of the universities and needs help with tuition. This young girl is so strong and I would really love to help her… this is the type of work I want my foundation to do. Her struggle is deep it gave me goose pimples as it cuts so deep, and took me to another place,” she said

Since bursting on the scene just over two decades ago, Lady Saw says has been extending a helping hand to the needy, particularly women who are in search of some form of empowerment in the same way her music has helped her to gain independence.

While doing it informally for a number of years, two years ago she sought to formalise her efforts. A few hiccups halted the early days of the Lady Saw Foundation, but the St Mary-born artiste says it is now up and ready to go.

“I have helped a lot of people without speaking about it publicly. Then a friend of mine suggested that we do it through a foundation and I just went for it. We tried to register it overseas with a few other persons, and when that did not work out I just got it done on my own.”

Her objective is to build a number of shelters across Jamaica to help these women and children who are the victims of abuse.

“I need a shelter for these women, where they can live to get them away from the abusive men and we can monitor them. I was just talking to one of the women who reached out to me for help. I got her out of the house and had her staying somewhere. When I called her today she had gone back to the man and was giving me a lot of excuses… but I still want to work with her, and many women and children across Jamaica,” she said.

“The women feel a connection to me. Perhaps, its because I have been so open about my fertility issues and miscarriages. You have a lot of women who just want to give me their children….so I want to set up these shelters across Jamaica,” Lady Saw continued.

She has already mentioned her plans to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, and is to have follow-up discussions. But she is aware that a project of this nature will require funding.

With that in mind, she is in the early stages of planning a major fund-raiser.

“I am putting together my first show… a big gospel concert. I want to have American artistes Fantasia, Tamela Mann and Tasha Cobbs on that show. They sing such inspirational music that I am sure would reach the hearts of many Jamaicans who want to support my foundation. I would also perform on that show. I have an unfinished gospel album and some of the tracks were released as singles, so I would have to perform for the people.”

Fresh off her historic performance at Reggae Sumfest last week, as the only female ever to close Dancehall Night, Lady Saw sees that as mission accomplished and time to move on to her next project – The Lady Saw Foundation.




 

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