Categorized | National News

Urban Renewal To Focus On Children

More community leaders need to come together to ensure children are protected in various communities as well as make sure they are leading productive lives, according to Bains Town and Grants Town MP, Dr. Bernard Nottage.

Dr. Nottage, who also serves as the minister of national security, was addressing police officers, religious and community leaders and officials from the Bain and Grants Town Urban Renewal Programme at their village keepers’ seminar yesterday.

Dr. Nottage said so many children in inner city communities are struggling. He said it’s up to the leaders and those in power to assist.

“The normal circumstance for so many children is that they have been brought up in single parent homes, homes with absent fathers and in a community where while the community is together, there is still the sale of drugs, fights, violence and the use of guns,” he said.

“This should not be the case. Children should not be faced with this, especially at an early age, but sadly this is the case in many communities and not just here in New Providence but throughout The Bahamas.”

He said there is also a problem with many children not attending school for various reasons.

“Any morning when school is in and you want to ride around Bain and Grants Town and you go on the park, you will find people who are supposed to be in school that are not in school,” the national security minister said while officially opening the seminar yesterday.

“You will also find young people who leave home to go to school who never reach and the parents are not even aware. When you talk to them you find out that some of them have been suspended, expelled or have even dropped and you would think that no one seems to care. You have these principals who put people out of school with no back-up for them. The principals don’t seem to care.”

Dr. Nottage said once these children are left with nothing to do, they get themselves in problems.

“I’m one of those who believes that you don’t have the right to suspend or expel someone from school without giving them an alternative,” he said.

“We truly are a collection of villages and we need there to be a connection between each community for our children. We also need a connection between those of us who reside in each village and all the leaders. We need the church to be at the forefront and we also need members of the community and schools.”

Dr. Nottage said “all is not lost.”

“There are many institutions that are making a significant impact and I want to encourage everyone to continue to make the effort to improve our society,” he said.

“We cannot give up. There is so much more that needs to be done.”

Other speakers at the one-day seminar included Assistant Commissioner of Police Hulan Hanna, Police Press Liaison Officer, Inspector Chrislyn Skippings, Pastor Barrington Brennen, Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Chief Welfare Officer Harris Smith among others.

The seminar was held at the Transfiguration Community Centre on Vesey Street.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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