Letters to the Editor

HELP ready to assist

Friday, August 03, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

As we celebrate 50 years of Independence, the big question is: What have we really achieved in these 50 years? And if so, what are the achievements? There is generally a pause when you ask the typical Jamaican about our achievements. It is an unfortunate reality that we all must face at some point. We must, however, remain positive and upbeat and begin to work collectively for better outcomes.

To be fair, we have had improvements in several areas since Independence. These include health care, foreign direct investments, infrastructure, sports, tourism, etc. However, Humans for Equality Leadership and Prosperity (HELP) believes several factors have negated the positive impact and equal distribution of resources for the people of the country, which should have been ultimately for their benefit. These are the lack of accountability and sustained follow-up actions.

HELP believes that for far too long civil society has sat back and not contributed to real development. Funds have been wasted and misguided policies have retarded our nation's true potential. We can no longer stand for it. High levels of corruption (87th out of 187 countries, Transparency International report 2010); high debt (estimated over 120 per cent as of December 2012); high unemployment (14.1 per cent, according to STATIN as of January 2012); and an impotent justice system are some of the negatives that continue to impede our nation's advancement.

We have failed to ensure that all leaders and members of civil society are held responsible for their actions. HELP believes that our youthful population is under threat as this hostile and less than enabling environment poses serious challenges for their advancement and our national development. They constitute about 32 per cent of the population, and another 11.5 per cent are adolescents and youth of 18-24 years. All talk and lack of action? What does our future really hold? We have also developed some uncaring attitudes as a people.

We have failed to ensure that all leaders and members of civil society are held responsible for their actions. HELP believes that our youthful population is under threat as this hostile and less than enabling environment poses serious challenges for their advancement and our national development. They constitute about 32 per cent of the population, and another 11.5 per cent are adolescents and youth of 18-24 years. All talk and lack of action? What does our future really hold? We have also developed some uncaring attitudes as a people.

In our culture there seems to be much disaffection and intolerance if one is seen or perceived as different - whether it is disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, etc. Our family values and attitudes over the years have diverted and do not readily reflect the Christian values that we claim to uphold and promote.

Where is the love for us as Jamaicans? If some politicians do not care, the people must lead the charge for social change that does not exclude anyone from the picture, but advances our holistic development as a nation on a mission. Again, HELP calls for a collective course of accountability and action that will reduce social exclusion, protect and guide our children and ensure equal distribution of resources and opportunities for our people. Together we the people will lead the charge to ensure that for the next 50 years we will start the process to ensure that Vision 2030 and beyond becomes our mission as we make "Jamaica, the place to live, work, raise families and do business" a reality. HELP is ready to assist in this collective partnership for productive outcomes.

Javan Campbell

Convenor, HELP

Kingston 10

helpJamaica1962@hotmail.com

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