Camille Thomas would like you to see Purchase-Build-Launch Refuge for Women Survivors in Jamaica!
Camille has raised $12,002 from 38 contributors Please contribute now
Purchase-Build-Launch Refuge for Women Survivors in Jamaica!
$45,872 raised
66% of $70k goal
53 contributors
44 Days left

Help us build a one-of-a-kind impact restoration center in Jamaica

where women across the gender spectrum come for radical life-changing

refuge and liberation


My name is Afia Walking Tree (she/them/we).  I was born and raised in Kingston Jamaica.  I am a survivor.   I’m returning home with a passion to change the state of violence in Jamaica where I first experienced the trauma of sexual, emotional and physical violence.   This space we are creating is the fulfilment of a dream I have been seeding for most of my life. This is a legacy moment for me and our most vulnerable.

We are rising in solidarity for the movement to ensure self-care, protection, courage, and dignity for women, girls, and LGBTQTSIX community in my homeland, through the resources that my organization Spirit Drumz has been providing for 30 years in the United States, Canada, Africa, and recently in Jamaica, in partnership with influential movement leaders and accomplices.

We are so grateful to our longstanding and recent collaborators and sponsors VDAY/One Billion Rising; WeChange Jamaica, Institute of Jamaica, Bioneers, African American Policy Forum, Black Love Convergence, Meadows Livingstone School, Women Drummers International, University of the West Indies, Edna Manley School for the performing arts, to name a few.   We have good news:




We are so close to PURCHASING this exquisite 12-acre riverfront property in St. Mary!


HELP US close the funding Gap of $25,000

by  June 1, 2021.



Your generous gift will help bring about the following vital changes in Jamaica through our work:

  1. Create safe and brave spaces for women and girls centering Trauma-informed care: There is limited funding and programming to eradicate gender-based violence against women, girls, and LGBTQIX communities. It's up to us to build it! Complicit rape and violence touches 62% of women and girls in Jamaica, which is 12% higher than the global average.
  2. Infuse cultural and direct expressive arts education: Centering cultural healing from our African diasporic legacies of drumming, dance, Maroon indigenous crafts, and Taino indigenous wisdom practices allows us to connect with our cultural roots, facilitating a remembrance of our heritage, and ourselves. Today, these tools are endangered – and it’s not being taught in our communities. We are writing a NEW story that centers embodied expressive healing arts as tools for activism for our people.
  3. Provide heart-centered transformative leadership and life skills training: Participants walk away with the tools to live as fully empowered change-advocates within their communities and across the island. We collaborate with partners to share the most up-to-date and relevant tools vital to up-leveling relational leadership
  4. Deeply Dive into wellness, restorative ecology and spiritual development: Given the high rate of violence and aggression, we offer approaches that lead from the heart, prioritizing self awareness, community wellness, care for the earth, and advocacy.




Creating Safe Space at the Caribbean Women & Sexual Diversity Conference in Jamaica, Oct 2019; photo credit: Janine Moore


Create safe and brave spaces for women and girls

  1. Host ongoing solidarity support groups, trauma release meditations, land-based experiences.
  2. Curate community activations and outreach about gender-based violence and the ways this violence intersects with other issues such as health, economics, education, and the environment.
  3. Work alongside male accomplices to shift stories, behaviors, and attitudes.


Infusing Drumming into Solidarity Movement Spaces Activating Tambourine Army Solidarity Mobilization, supported by UN Women in Jamaica, March 2017; photo credit: TransWave Jamaica


Infuse drumming and cultural arts education

  1. Provide apprenticeships for those who desire to use the drum as a tool of transformation.
  2. Activate women, girls and LGBTQIX people to amplify their stories through our drumming legacy in performances, rituals, and solidarity mobilizations.
  3. Receive teachings directly from our elders to engage ancestral wisdom and guidance of indigenous cultural practices.

Receiving teaching directly from elder, Gaa'maan Mama G Gloria Simms, Paramount Queen of the Maroons on "How we Heal the Healers through the Power of Ancient Indigenous Practices ," March 2019;  photo credit: Trinity Watkins


Provide heart-centered leadership and life skills training

  1. Cultivate holistic expressive relationship-building that guide participants living with intergenerational trauma to become powerful change agents.
  2. Create brave space for radical truth-telling and listening, that encourages everyone to share their stories and be witnessed.
  3. Inspire and hone collaborative solutionary skills and strategies that nurture our growing solidarity movement in Jamaica.

Heart-centered "Eye-n-Eye" listening during leadership practice at SD SoulFree Journey Jamaica, March 2019; photo credit: Afia Walking Tree


Deeply dive into wellness, restorative ecology and spiritual development

  1. Offer ongoing mindfulness courses in Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation.
  2. Connect with ancestors and develop personal spiritual practices.
  3. Integrate holistic nutrition, massage, and somatic healing into community care practices.
  4. Apply earth-based farming, ecology, and permaculture principles to cultivate land-body awakening.

WEChange Jamaica Surviving Adversity & Finding Empathy (S.A.F.E.)  Support Group & House of Pentacles Film Crew connect with ancestors to release RAGE and develop spiritual practice with Nature, July 2019; photo credit: House of Pentacles


WHY WE NEED $65,000

This FundRazr is an integral part of our larger 2020-2021 fundraising plan, which will ultimately support the full purchase, build, and launch of the Spirit Drumz Raise Yuh Voice Drum Sanctuary in Jamaica.

The first phase land/property fundraising plan is $65,000



The second phase start-up fundraising plan of $110,000 includes: (not yet launched)

  • $50,000 for Regenerative Construction (Net Zero buildings): 3 bd 2 ba main house; 8-person dorm; 20-person outdoor studio, and farm facilities $40,000 (materials to be sourced from the land and local resources)
  • Materials and Equipment purchase $25,000
  • Administration and operational costs $35,000

Because the value of your dollars go much further in Jamaica than in the US, we invite you join this opportunity to make a real, tangible difference to grow our social justice movement today.

St. Mary, Jamaica;  photo credit: Afia Walking Tree ***

What people are saying about our movement impact:

“I am so moved, uplifted, and totally excited by the extraordinary work you are doing in Jamaica, I know I speak for all of us when I say how proud we are to be in sisterhood and solidarity with you and the women of Jamaica. You are doing it my sister! So much love and admiration.”

~ Eve Ensler, Founder and Artistic Director of V-Day and One Billion Rising, Tony Award winning playwright, Performer, and Activist, Author of The Vagina Monologues


"Afia's drums assisted me in gaining clarity, in releasing. releasing my rage... we beat the drums and we belted out,  and it assisted in our grieving process.  Imagine a jamaica where persons are allowed to raise their voice to grief, release rage, fear?  I  can imagine a safer jamaica as persons would be able to access their rage and grief."

- Christina Grant, Director for Community Engagement and Compliance & S.A.F.E Group Facilitator, WeChange Jamaica


"The need is so great and its time to RISE. We need what Afia and Spirit Drumz has to offer in a sustainable way in Jamaica now. The testimonials from hundreds of women and the many interventions that Afia has modeled in our social justice movement has been helping shift how we Jamaicans think about healing grounded in the expressive arts with the drum. It's what we need the most right now."

-Taitu Heron, past UNWomen Jamaica Programme Coordinator and current Technical Advisor for WeChange Jamaica


Meadows Livingstone School girls play Jamaican rhythms as part of an integrated curriculum that honors the creative expressive spirits to Rise! photo credit: Afia Walking Tree


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