Words by Natalie Weiner—
Taj Weekes and Wilson Jn. Baptiste are both based in New York, but through their charitable efforts they’re working to foster development in their native Saint Lucia. Weekes, recently named the island’s UNICEF Champion for Children, is an internationally successful musician who backs up his humanitarian lyrics by working for the youth of Saint Lucia through his charity TOCO (They Often Cry Outreach). Baptiste is an entrepreneur whose business, The Gems of St. Lucia, aims to bring tourists to the lesser-known parts of the island, encouraging off-season visits and overall growth in Saint Lucia’s tourism industry.
Over the holidays, the two came together to support the island’s most precious resource — its children. With the help of JetBlue, the two organized the shipment of 150 bicycles to Lucia, which were then distributed to children at a local school’s annual Christmas party. Diabetes is as much of an epidemic in the Caribbean as it is in the United States, which is why Weekes is committed to encouraging local youth to maintain active lifestyles—previously he’s donated items like scooters and soccer balls.
In his words, “We are our brother’s keepers. To whom much is given, much is expected. I can help and I will do whatever is in my power to help the children of Saint Lucia. After all, how many more things do I need? I can’t drive 5 cars, I don’t need 5 cars… but I can make a contribution at home.”