Gavin hosts ‘Hog Roast’ to fund travel to university in England
Gavin Myers is determined not to allow anything to prevent him from travelling to the United Kingdom where he is set to read for a PhD in public leadership and social enterprise at The Open University in Milton Keynes.
Myers has been offered a scholarship to study at the prestigious Central London university, but there is a little issue. To get there, he must cover costs such as airfare.
"To meet these costs, and to raise a little spending money for my trip, I are having a Hogtastic Roast!," Myers said in social media post. This 'Hogtastic Roast' is similar to a bake sale where people raise money though the sale of products. It's the Belfield, St Mary-born Myers' way of turning his hands to make fashion.
The Hogtastic Roast will be held on January 29, and Myers has promised to appease the taste buds of 'real hog connoisseurs', providing jerk pork, pig ears, hog head in his homestyled 'hogsauce', barbecued chicken with polenta and the authentic Rocksprings salad.
"All of this is important because it is a showcase of what I have been doing and what is being done at the Rocksprings Farm. It takes into consideration all that I study, how we as Caribbean persons 'tun our hand mek fashion', and how we survive in the face of adversity," he told THE STAR.
The 39-year-old is hoping his hogtastic feast will yield much-needed funds for him to arrive in the United Kingdom by the beginning of February.
ATTACKED BY STUDENTS
Myers is business development director of Rocksprings Farm, which is located off Windward Road in Kingston. The farm, which is owned by a group of young people, operates a piggery, does coconut water bottling, as well as honey processing/bottling, and cultivates a mix of vegetables - Romaine and iceberg lettuce, cabbage, pak choi and purple cabbage. They also rear goats, cows and sheep and cultivate plantains.
Before venturing into agriculture, Myers earned a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations and Political Science at The University of the West Indies. Being passionate about community development, Myers got involved in the National Youth Service as an empowerment officer. He then became the dean of discipline at the Aabuthnott Gallimore High, but that did not go well.
"I was hurt on the job in 2012. I was attacked by some students, they broke my foot and stabbed me up. I left the job and I got a scholarship to study in South Korea," he shared.
He returned to Jamaica from South Korea in 2016, studying community development. It was then he realised he had a passion for farming, and soon thereafter he started farming at Rocksprings Farm. He said the farm allows him to work with at-risk individuals, living in crime-prone communities, which gives them an opportunity for employment through agriculture.
"We employ persons who come to us as unemployed, or this is literally the only job that would take them because they didn't finish school, or are women involved in abusive relations. If you know east Kingston, the place is falconised. It is a free space for people like that, and we work with them," Myers said.
The passionate community builder said that obtaining a PhD in public leadership and social enterprise will help him add to the body of knowledge as to how Caribbean people and their diaspora are working together to offer support to each other and their communities.
"It is related to the pandemic, and I am studying how the Caribbean diaspora is weathering the pandemic and how the group has been serving others," Myers said.
His journey there will be a task, as he has to raise EU3,000 (approximately J$525,000) for airfare, visa and housing accommodation. Myers is determined to get there.
"I am going to do my degree and I'm determined that I'm going to go, and the best way to reach there is to have a hog roast because Rocksprings has the best hog roast, and this is something I know a lot about," he said boastfully.