Over the past week, Citizens for Peace and Prosperity (CPP) embarked on a number of interventions on its quest to engender peace and prosperity in Saint Lucia. The social action group, chaired by the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association, was conceptualised for the urgent implementation of crime and violence abatement strategies, and comprises players from over twenty organisations. The interventions form part of the CPP’s recently unveiled Six Bridges to Peace and Prosperity which include:
1. Empowerment of individuals and communities
2. Creative Arts as an avenue to increase self worth and identity
3. Improving parenting and child development
4. Violence interruption
5. Using sports to build community connections and mobilize for peace building initiatives
6. Improving recreational infrastructure in communities
Creating an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs was high on the CPP’s agenda during a Monday, December 11 meeting with the Managing Director of the Saint Lucia Development Bank Mr. Cornelius Sidonie.
Chairman of the CPP Senator Noorani Azeez noted: “The CPP is determined to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the process of obtaining financing becomes more seamless. Young people have long bemoaned the uphill battle of obtaining financing to start or expand businesses, with many abandoning the process due to red tape. The focus was placed on the repurposing of the agency’s Youth Enterprise Equity Fund, with the view to ensuring more of our at-risk youth can benefit. Micro businesses in communities along Chaussee Road and in Soufriere are the immediate target areas. We look forward to continued dialogue with the SLDB and other agencies.”
The groundwork has also begun on the establishment of Community Development Committees (CDC) in the communities of New Village and Georgeville. The CPP team has met with residents of the areas, who showed their eagerness to grasp the opportunity to better their communities. The CDCs will play a critical role in a planned Cultural Tourism Extravaganza slated for early next year. The event is intended to empower communities along Chaussee Road via the establishment of community-based tourism businesses. To this end, a sit down with the Chaussee Road Business Association is set for later this week.
Azeez notes that the society is at a breaking point as evidenced by the daily eruptions of violence, which only serve to further erode the very humanity of Saint Lucians. Remedial strategies, he says, must aim to replace crime and violence with peace and prosperity by breaking down barriers and building bridges which re-engage our entire society.
“It gives me great pleasure to unveil the CPP’s tagline: ‘One Love, One St. Lucia: Support Each Other, Love One Another, United as One,” Azeez said.
“It is intended to serve as a rallying cry for all citizens to unite under a single banner irrespective of social class and religious and political ideologies. Crime does not discriminate and all hands must be on deck in order to overcome this scourge. We call on all citizens to embrace this movement,” Azeez added..
Citizens who wish to stand in solidarity with the cause are encouraged to collect a complimentary badge, t-shirt and bumper sticker at the SLHTA’s office at #2 Alfiona Plaza Rodney Heights, Gros Islet. CPP encourages all to share pictures with the paraphernalia on social media and use the hashtag ‘oneloveonestlucia.’