Incensed by the gang violence plaguing inner city communities and the rash of sexual violence against young women and minors in the… society, Rastafarian firebrand Lutan Fyah has started a Youth Upliftment Foundation (YUF) which he hopes can socially re-engineer the negative attitudes and behaviours of young at-risk children. He is not daunted by the mammoth task ahead, especially since the twin tigers of crippling poverty and bloody gangs have already spawned a nation of broken children who see violence as a way of life, and who often grow up to repeat the terrible cycle started by their parents. “Why curse the darkness when you can light a candle,” said Lutan Fyah, who is known for the hits St Jago De La Vega and Save The Juveniles. The entity is registered as a non-profit organisation charged with empowering the well-being of youth through social intervention dedicated to contribute to the family, communities and nation through continued growth and development. “I want to provide enrichment opportunities through ‘edutaiment’. We have to encourage youth development of talents and skills building so as to eliminate risky behaviours among youths, whilst helping them to develop their full potential. Too many of our talented youngsters are lost to gangs, or make poor life choices that haunt them for the rest of their lives,” Lutan Fyah said. Specifically, he wants to use the Save the Juveniles outreach and mentoring arm of the organisation to re-engineer the mindset and thinking of young at-risk children who are often the perpetrators and victims of violent gun crime. “We have to educate youths to think constructively and creatively, whilst promoting positive social interaction to bring about change in attitudes and behaviours among self and others. I want to engage other like-minded members of society to join with me to become proactive mentors to inspire and spiritually uplift these children,” he said. Other objectives of the organisation include: The promotion spiritual upliftment in an effort to preserve cultural identity, sense of self, individualism and personal development; assisting youths to identify their weaknesses and identify their full potential and see themselves as nation builders; providing a framework that is aimed at combating some of the social issues and reshaping some of the dramatic forces inflicted upon youths on a regular basis. Also, he hopes YUF will help to maintain social solidarity and solution-oriented support among youths in communities and schools, and create a framework to advocate for the effective delivery of voluntary services to youths at the highest professional level in a legal and ethical manner. “At the moment, I am chairman, president, vice president, general secretary and a financial controller. I am going to need a body of people to help me meet with these objectives,” he said.