The Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment is bringing together several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Faith-Based Organizations (NBOs) and other social partners, in an attempt to build capacity and strengthen their operational efficiency as a means of tackling social ills, specifically with the upsurge in crime and gun violence.
As the world commemorates the efforts of men under the banner of Father’s Day on June 20, Ministry officials are lamenting the erosion of basic societal values that speak to peace, love, care and concern for fellowmen. Values that traditionally formed the core of human interactions and once characterized life of our nation is slowly being eroded.
Therefore, the Ministry of Equity considers “Father’s day as an opportune time for Father’s and men in general to internalize and reflect on themselves and to determine if they are living up to that innate higher leadership mantle which has been entrusted to them,” exclaimed Minister Hon. Joachim Henry.
The Minister also takes this opportunity to extend Happy Father’s Day Greetings to all fathers and encourages them to continue to take up their responsibility with a certain level of pride and dignity; and that renewed commitment to their call as fathers and head of households will no doubt, signal a reassuring and positive message to our young aspiring fathers.
The male leadership chasm he bemoans, keeps getting wider and society as a unit cannot simply standby and watch. The Minister asserts, his Ministry, together with its many intervention programs spearheaded by Social Transformation Officers (STOs), Welfare Workers and Family
Case Workers that touched families at the core, are once again taking major steps to make more robust and effective, the structures and functioning of the vital groups in society. “These groups and clubs, if they live up to their ethos have the wherewithal to change attitudes and lifestyles of those most affected by crime and violence and critically mentor leadership among the male population,” remarked Henry. A particular focus is being placed on fathers and men folk at the community level, to ensure they are provided with a suitable forum to air their concerns, challenges and to offer them the opportunity to make and own practical solutions to address the myriad of social ills plaguing our society.
As a direct means of mitigating the unhealthy trend of crime and gun related violence currently plaguing society, the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with its critical partners, will convene a major Convocation for Men that will facilitate free and frank discussions on several social issues confronting families and the wider society.
Permanent Secretary, Velda Joseph says the Convocation will be an annual forum for men and will seek to galvanize Saint Lucia’s male folk to greater action both within their family unit and the wider society. PS Joseph says such an initiative is to signal a renewed deeper interest in the role of men, not just as household leaders, but more importantly, as community leaders. The Ministry of Equity therefore makes an assertive call to all our fathers and men folk across the society to be more deliberate with their continued contribution towards elevating our social ills. The objective of the upcoming Convocation for Men is to ensure men are given the opportunity to air their concerns and challenges, and to play a more effective role both in the prevention and solution process of addressing Saint Lucia’s social issues.
The Ministry of Equity anticipates the full collaboration of key stakeholders and looks forward to making the upcoming event a success. More details of the upcoming forum will be released later, as the Ministry advances with its plan for this necessary initiative.