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‘This is not just about my son, it’s about everyone who has been impacted by a road fatality’

Antoinette Burgess, left, whose son Kijani lost his life in a road accident in 2020, alongside India Shrinarine, one of his former classmates at the Bermuda Institute. (Photograph by Stefano Ausenda)

An initiative that started with students paying tribute to their late friend has grown into an island-wide endeavour to help people who have lost family members to road accidents.

Classmates of teenager Kijani Burgess at the Bermuda Institute created the Pain into Purpose organisation and a Wear the Blue campaign, shortly after he died in bike accident in 2020.

Held annually on January 13, the anniversary of his death, Wear the Blue encourages people to remember Mr Burgess – and all victims of road fatalities – by wearing his favourite colour and performing random acts of kindness.

Campaign members and supporters were in Hamilton on Friday, raising money to support loved ones of road fatality victims.

Antoinette Burgess, Mr Burgess’ mother, said: “We send grieving families flowers and cards and as we continue to raise funds, our ultimate goal is to be able to provide some form of support services, whether it be counselling or grief journals.

“[Through the journals], they can turn their pain into purpose, which is our goal.

“This is not just about my son, it’s about everyone who has been impacted by a road fatality and remembering them and their legacy also.”

Almost $800 was raised through last year’s initiative, the first one open to the public. Previous campaigns were limited to the Bermuda Institute.

India Shrinarine was one of Mr Burgess’ classmates who helped form the campaign.

She said: “I did not think that it would go this far. It is heart-warming and helps us to remember those who have passed away from road accidents.”

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Published January 16, 2023 at 3:51 pm (Updated January 16, 2023 at 3:51 pm)

‘This is not just about my son, it’s about everyone who has been impacted by a road fatality’

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