A project has been designed by GAMPA under the title “I am me” which is aimed at spreading the message of empowerment of young people.
A statement from the Gibraltar Academy of Music & Performing Arts reads:
The Gibraltar Academy of Music and Performing Arts has been travelling around local schools and youth organisations with the “I Am Me” Project. This project is designed to spread a message of empowerment for young people and raise their self-esteem.
“I Am Me” was originally a play produced by Christian Santos and GAMPA which was developed as a result of discussions and workshops held with a group of young actors discussing social issues affecting young people today.
Due to the success of this play at the Gibraltar Drama Festival (winning 6 awards including Best Play) the group were asked to perform it for a selection of students from Bayside and Westside comprehensive school.
Though the story revolved around a transgender character, the central theme of the play was “Identity, self-acceptance and celebrating your unique self”. It is important for young people to understand the concept of “Respect” for one-self and respect for one another.
Young people are subjected to more pressure to conform due to their exposure to social media. This leads to a higher probability of self-confidence issues and lack of belief in oneself. They are exposed to spending more time questioning themselves as opposed to listening to themselves and what their needs and gifts may be.
GAMPA strongly believes that being happy with who you are leads to maximizing your own individual potential. The aim of “I Am Me” is to help young people focus on their own talents, skills and strengths creating a generation of young people who are confident and believe in themselves. This in turn will help in the battle against problems such as bullying and self-esteem issues. We want the “I Am Me” project to make young people feel part of a “community” which has taken part in creating different parts of this project.
At the moment Christian Santos has been going round local schools working with the school choirs and teaching them “I Am Me” the song which written by 2 students from the academy. This song is an anthem of self-belief and a fantastic way to get the message across. All choirs will get together at the end of the month to record the song. This will involve over 500 children between the ages of 4 and 18 years of age. We would then move on to recording a video getting as many young people involved as possible. We have created the #iammegib hashtag which we are promoting and we want to use it as part of the video recording in order to promote the youth of Gibraltar working as one community. One of the main aims of this project is to have all those involved feel like they are part of something important and develop a sense of community as well as promoting a positive atmosphere.
Tanya Santini-McClelland and Monica Gomila have been touring schools with self-esteem and self-confidence sessions that have been held as school assemblies. These focus on positive reinforcement of self. We also want to tackle the topic of bullying but from a different perspective. As opposed to focusing on the negativity of bullying, which is touched upon often, we want to spin it around and focus on having individuals focus on their positive aspects as opposed to the negativity that comes from focusing on other people’s opinions. We are also working with the organizer of Youth Day on 7 th April who will be promoting and using the #iammegib as part of their event.
Christian Santos principal of GAMPA states ”We have had great support from the majority of local schools and the Department of Education and it has been great meeting so many young people so eager to be part of this project and so keen to change their mindset into a more positive outlook”. The team is still touring the schools and working with the choirs. Hopefully the video will get the turnout of young people it deserves and it will be as big as only we know how to make things in Gibraltar. For more information and updates please join our facebook page and instagram profile “I Am Me Gib”.