JIS News

Persons are being encouraged to be good neighbours by joining community organisations, in order to know who lives next to them, and also as a means of security for themselves and the wider community.
Speaking at a function hosted by the Social Development Commission (SDC), at the Ridgemount United Church in Mandeville, Manchester, on November 26, to honour 23 community volunteers, Southern Regional Director of the Child Development Agency (CDA), Grace-Ann McFarlane, told the audience that it is wise for persons to be part of a network in their neighbourhood.
“When parents are at work, and can feel assured that their children are safe in the neighbourhoods that they live, means better productivity. The problem we face is that the supportive community of our grand parents, the village, the neighbourhood; that place where people looked out and supported each other is seemingly non-existent. For one thing, the grand parents have gotten much younger and do not wish to be addressed as such. And so the family is paying a big price for the loss of these securities that once existed,” Mrs. McFarlane said.
The CDA official urged persons to “look out for each other in our communities. People, it takes a village, to work with the family, to raise a child and weather the storms of life. If we want that kind of support, the place to begin is with ourselves. Community, like charity, begins at home. You start building a good neighbourhood when you yourself decide that you will be a good neighbour”.
She added that, building community life is something that every person has the power to do, adding that today, children need protection and guidance from all responsible citizens.
“Make a report when you know or suspect that a child has been is being or is likely to be abused or neglected. Use good judgement and/or your professional training and expertise to make this decision. It is not necessary that the abuse or neglect happened – you just have to be reasonably suspicious. It is better to err on the side of wrongful reporting, than to risk further injury or death of a child. The life you save may be your child’s own,” Mrs. McFarlane added.