Volunteers from the Bahamas Crisis Centre combed the Kemp Road community on Saturday, moving door to door as they handed out information brochures, and offered an open ear to residents willing to share their complaints or concerns on an array of social issues.
Director of the Crisis Centre Dr. Sandra Dean Patterson lead the initiative which highlighted issues affecting families and children, it also gave residents and opportunity to learn more about the centre and its services.
“People may not know where we are, they may not know what we offer, and putting a face to the issue and the situation makes a difference,” she said.
“The response has been really positive in the communities, we’ve been through Bain Town, Grants Town, Englerston, Gambier and the response has been very positive and persons are all concerned about the level of violence, the level of conflict and everybody asks, ‘what are we going to do?’ The communities want us to come back but we can’t come back until we’ve done all of the communities and decide on a strategy.”
This initiative was launched in September of last year and its part of the centre’s campaign to visit a new community each month.
“Every time we’ve gone to a community we’ve identified situations that need interventions and follow up so we know it’s worthwhile, we know that it can make a difference, even for men,” she said.
“A lot of people think that all we do is work with women and children but it’s amazing the number of men that have reached out as we walked around and asked for assistance.”
Representatives from Pilgrim Baptist Church also joined volunteers for the walkabout.
According Pastor Keith Rolle, domestic violence remains a challenging problem in the country; in fact he said every year the church is faced with having to assist a number of individuals affected by domestic abuse.
“We have a number of programmes that we offer and one of the main things we try to do is lead in prevention, teaching classes and trying to reach out to the young people before it even gets to a point of domestic violence and try to teach and train them in the way of the Lord,” he said.
“Prevention is a part of what we do and then again we know that there are incidents that happen so we do provide counselling services for persons who are affected.”
He added that it is important for churches in various communities to move beyond their four walls in an effort to combat the issue and touch lives.
The Crisis Centre conducts its community walkabouts on the last Saturday of every month.