Members of the Hamilton Parish Workmen’s Club and the Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club gathered in front of where off-duty prison officer Daemon Bell was killed on Wednesday afternoon to call out to the community to stand up against antisocial behavior and to stand up for peace and justice.
“ We are sick and tired of being sick and tired and are not helpless to these situations,” former MP and vice-president of the Hamilton Parish Workmen’s Club Nandi Outerbridge said. “ Community clubs in the area are working hard to put programs in place which keep the youth engaged in positive behavior, whether through education or sports.
But in order to ensure that these programs are a success, we need the support of the community. We need the community to be involved and need this initiative to catch fire, as these programs’ successes spill over into creating successful citizens of our country.”
The clubs are currently working on a community WIFI lounge which will allow young people who might not have internet access at their homes the ability to use the internet in a safe environment. They are also working on constructing a multi-surface sports pitch for young people in the area, as well as a games room.
President of Bailey’s Bay cricket club Stephen Outerbridge said that Wednesday’s murder was very disheartening to say the least. He believes that the best and fastest way to heal the community and country as a whole is to talk about the love people have for each other and what brings them together and not what tears them apart.
“ The issue [that we face] is major and if we do not address it, we will have serious questions to answer in the future,” he said. “ We try to sweep things under the rug as parents a lot of times . . . we allow alcohol and other [substances] to be sold wherever and whenever, but we can certainly do a lot of things better.”
In addition to Hamilton Workmen’s and Bailey’s Bay cricket clubs working together, they have also reached out to schools in the surrounding areas to find out how they can bring mentorship programs there and pair community leaders up with kids who may need guidance.
“ I believe that we are on ground zero [right now], but nothing that we can do is going to be ambitious enough to start to make progress,” Ms. Outerbridge said. “ Our first steps are to start within our school systems because that is where we can reach the majority of our people.”
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