Transformation needs national involvement

Transformation needs national involvement

Thursday, June 20, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Where is the care and concern for our people in this nation? How can we sit and watch crime destroy families, individuals, and our future?

As a nation we should be concerned about our brothers and sisters who live in deplorable conditions and who are immersed in an environment that expouses and glorifies gang warfare, violence, murder, and other atrocities, including all kinds of abuse. This predisposes each generation to crime and violence and perpetuates this cycle of unused potential, apathy and hopelessness.

How do we expect to achieve our vision if we do not seek to join together and work with residents to transform our inner cities and garrison communities?

Or have we accepted them as permanent features of our society?

If we do, crime will continue to plague our country. We cannot expect peace and safety without addressing the conditions and culture that reside in our communities.

For transformation to occur in our communities we must be willing to open our hearts and hands to help improve the quality of parenting and family bonds, increase access to quality education to all children, and engage residents in opportunities for wealth creation (through entrepreneurship and employment). In addition, we must identify and challenge community and societal-level norms and values that inhibit people's ability to become morally responsible and productive citizens of Jamaica while also enhancing the overall environment.

The transformation of these communities will also take political will, but an even greater difficulty is for us, as citizens, to rise to the challenge of serving each other, regardless of class and social background, in a way that inspires mutual change and growth.

It is my view that the transformation of our inner-city communities will require the involvement of the whole society. It will take the Church, the public and private sectors, our academic institutions, and the Diaspora, along with attentive political leadership to strategically work together with integrity to make this a reality.

Yes, these communities can experience tremendous change if we make it a national focus and are committed to the process. Otherwise, our Vision 2030 statement to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business will continue to remain an illusion.

B A Fletcher

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