Retired educator bemoans absence of police youth clubs in HanoverThursday, February 11, 2021
BY ANTHONY LEWIS
POINT, Hanover — Anthony Marks, a retired Hanover school principal and director of Youth Arise: Community Development Foundation of Hanover, has bemoaned the lack of an active police youth club in the parish.
In stressing the importance of such a club in the fight against crime, Marks said it is disheartening to know that the parish is currently without an active club, noting that the first police youth club came out of Sandy Bay in the parish.
“There is the need for these clubs to be re-energised and we are certain that the call is now deafening,” Marks emphasised.
“Every day you see the crime statistics and Hanover, which was once peaceful, needs to regain its hold on peace and I think we are trying at this angle. We want other people to join in and ensure that the thing becomes a reality.”
Marks, in pointing to the need to fight the current crime monster, reiterated a statement made by Frederick Douglass, an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman, who stated that “it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Marks was speaking at a ceremony held at the Grand Palladium Hotel and Resort in Hanover recently by the foundation, where laptop computers were donated to four students in the parish.
Member of Parliament for Hanover Western Tamika Davis, who also addressed the function, told the Jamaica Observer West that the lack of a police youth club in the parish, even though the parish was the first to establish such a club, is disappointing.
However, Davis said plans are in place to revive the clubs that have gone dormant due to many factors.
“When I go into the communities, they speak about amenities, a lack of financial support and so on. So, we had actually embarked on a plan to revive these youth clubs, and then came COVID,” said Davis, referring to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“It is not that these plans are put away for long, it is just that they are put on the back burner because, as you can imagine, youth clubs envision gatherings and it is the very thing we are trying to ward against with this pandemic,” stated Davis, adding “while the pandemic is ongoing, what we can seek to do is that everything is in place so that when the country is reopened for the gatherings again, we are poised.”
Meanwhile, Marks also took a jab at the Social Development Commission (SDC), which he claimed, requires a wake-up call.
“When you compare them to what their former glory was, there is a need for a wake-up call especially as we seek to fight this crime monster. We need organisations that are alive and well in our communities and this is why we see the need and would like to see other people joining,” stated Marks.
However, Davis told the Observer West that she does not share such a sentiment.
“I would not say that... I don't know in what context the statement was made, but so far, as I know, they (SDC) are still on track with their plans to help communities,” she said.
Youth Arise: Community Development Foundation of Hanover, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, which was established four years ago, is aimed at developing the youths and promoting community development in Lucea, Hanover through the implementation of various community- based programmes, including sport and arts.
Marks said the pandemic has resulted in the group making changes to its objectives. As such, the group, he said, is committed to the distribution of online learning equipment to students in Hanover.
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