Shane Morgan & Romaine Sabukie Allen
Shane Morgan and Romaine Sabukie Allen are the Directors of Life Yard an oasis in the middle of Parade Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica.
Having witnessed first-hand challenges facing his community while growing up, Shane Morgan made it his mission to make a difference in his community of Parade Gardens and to lead in the social reform and development of a community riddled with political segregation, violence and financial constraints.
With this mission in mind, he and a group of Rastafarians within the community with the same vision created Life Yard. A social enterprise that would be geared toward creating changes through art, education and agriculture.
Shane’s collaboration with Paint Jamaica acted as a stepping stone to Life Yard being a driving force behind Parade Garden’s new glow.
With a genuine love for social work, he has been able to garner support from residents and establish relationships outside of his community. As a result, he has been able to grow partnerships that blossomed into successful workshops for children in the neighbourhood. Teaching them social skills such as crochet, drumming and art.
Although the challenges have not been eradicated, Shane Morgan and Life Yard’s intent on “bending the tree while it’s young” will most likely see a change in the thoughts and actions of the community’s future generations.
Life Yard is now a space where children laugh, learn and liberate their minds. Each member tries to be an individual the children can emulate, practicing self-sustainability through their farm to kitchen restaurant, pallet furniture made from recycled pallets and craft jewelry made from simple resources such as coconut shells.
Shane Morgan has a sincere love for his community. This love inspired him to start Southside Eye TV, an extension of Aseer Entertainment, a media company owned by him and his partner.
Through photography and videos, Shane Morgan highlights what he believes is the beauty of self determination of the residents of Parade Gardens, which is achievable, despite the struggles they face.
Romaine Sabukie Allen
Growing up in a Rastafarian household, Romaine Sabukie Allen, understood from a very young age that “there is nothing more rewarding in life than to work for the benefit of others, one can derive more pleasure from giving rather than receiving”. One of Haile Selassie’s famous philosophies.
As a child his mother would have to constantly talk to him about giving away everything that he has and then having nothing for himself. But no matter how many times she spoke to him, his actions remained the same. Eventually one of her favorite names for him became “Samaritan”.
One of his favorite quotes from Haile Selassie is “Let infants be clothed, the elder be fed and the sick taken care.” He continues to live by these words as well as the words of Marcus Garvey and Patrice Lumba.
In his second year at the University of Technology, studying a BSc., he got reacquainted with Shane Morgan of Life Yard ( he knew him from the neighbourhood). He immediately fell in love with the mission of Life Yard.
He believed it was his calling and even ended his fruit business to be a part of Life Yard full time. Since then, his contribution has been nothing short of extraordinary.
He has managed to enhance the vision and broaden the scope of Life Yard. Present for every event and standing strong with Shane Morgan for every mission, Romaine Sabukie Allen has been able to satisfy his own yearning to enhance the life of everyone who crosses his path.
It is safe to say that even though he has grown into an inspiring young man, he is still that little boy who is giving his all even though it often means being left with nothing but personal satisfaction.
Both his mother and father had instilled in him a love for music. Realizing the powerful influence that music has, he also uses his creative energy with his sound system, Black Revelationz Sound, to help others learn about themselves and be better influences in society.
Please visit www.lifeyard.org for more information.