No stranger to the dangers of poverty and a lack of direction without purpose, international artist Jonathan Butler sent a clear message to those who would lead youngsters down a path of no return. “We are taking our children back,” he said.
The highly acclaimed South African singing legend was recently in South Africa to launch the Jonathan Butler Foundation. The Foundation uses a combination of music and arts programmes that give youth an opportunity to construct meaningful lives for themselves away from violence and potential substance abuse. Through the healing therapy of involvement in a variety of fun and educative interventions, Butler hopes to entrench the Foundation’s mantra of 'Purpose kills addiction – live your dream'.
Butler wants to encourage everyone – young and old – to join the legions of South African youth who are beginning to take a stand and say “no”. They are saying ‘no’ to being victimised by negative influences in their communities.
After his involvement with a number of independent initiatives, Jonathan Butler has launched a foundation that will cement his musical and personal legend in South Africa. The main thrust of the Jonathan Butler Foundation (JBF) is to be a self-funded organisation that provides positive intervention to promote access to music and arts education for children and focuses on preventing the perils and ease of falling into a life of substance abuse. It will do so through the use of a series of digitally mastered interactive presentations and programmes that it will run through schools and community centres. The first of these programmes will take place in Eldorado Park in Gauteng in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial government.
The Foundation’s approach to substance abuse is based on their slogan 'Purpose kills Addiction – Live your dream!' - a strengths-based approach to maximise the potential of our youth.
In addition to this, The JBF will be launching a bursary and scholarships programme to partner education institutions for those stellar students who come through its programmes and who clearly demonstrate talent and the willingness to succeed while upholding the ideals and philosophy of the JBF.
The JBF officially launched during September 2013 Heritage week, as it was and always will be, Jonathan’s desire to create a new heritage for South Africa’s youth. One whose narrative can be crafted through music and that they can write as their own.
The JBF is currently partners with the Tshwane School of Music of which Jonathan Butler is Patron. One of the success stories coming out of the Tshwane School of Music, is the group Freeborn – all aged under 13 years of age who have already performed at Jonathan Butler concerts and have opened for the likes of Freedom Day celebrations.
To show solidarity for their courage, to show you applaud their stance, join the revolution for creating purpose for our youth, sign the electronic pledge on: www.jonathanbutlerfoundation.org.za.