My Advice to the People of T&T.


TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN…especially under this Rowley administration

So, I picked up the Express of January 30, 2020, and in the left-hand corner a small headline screamed at me, “137% rise in crimes against children”

What’s new I mused in a coun­try where talk is the order of the day, enacting legislation is the new business and lack of implementa­tion is the cultivated norm.
Almost every day social media is alight with the sins of our youth, bullying that is allowed to take place, illicit sex being practised in the classroom and rather than treating with these maladies, they have become nothing more than entertainment to a country that has literally lost its soul under Row­ley’s administration.
Almost every day we read stories about the disappearance of young girls, some turning up later having run away from home, others hav­ing gone, no one knows where in a country of just over 1.3 million.
We read frightening stories which suggest that young girls are victims of human traffick­ing, snatched at a tender age and shipped off to other countries to be put to work as sex slaves. The silence of these narratives is not as frightening as the State’s inability to put a dent into this nauseating activity.
Allegations of organ harvesting where both males and females are targeted because of the purity of their body parts is among us and we have not taken a stance. Our leaders are making no visible at­tempt to extirpate such wrongs. Yet we seem surprised that in 2020, crimes against children have risen by 137 percent
We have laws in this country that make it compulsory for chil­dren to be in school up to the age of 16, yet the level of truancy in our country makes such a law a mockery. And when images of young men, very young men are broadcast across social media dis­playing guns that are illegal, ques­tions must be asked whether this is a real country in which we live.
Take a visit to our schools and watch the number of unsupervised children and the answer to the rise in crimes by 137% is right there in front of our faces.

We have lost all discipline in our society

Not too long ago, contact hours with teachers was the practice schools, roll call used to be taken and children missing 25% of class­es were not assigned to sit the ba­sic exams set.
This has since been removed. The result being that children go to school when they want. Children attend classes when they want. The education system no longer holds itself as part of the develop­ment programme for youth. It is therefore no wonder that crimes against children have skyrocketed by 137 percent
One cannot believe that in this country we have a Children’s Au­thority set up to look after our chil­dren and protect them from abuse. It is as though this Authority has failed to comprehend that part of its mandate is to protect children from their own selves.
We have lost all discipline in our society so a 137 percent rise in crime against children is mod­erate.
Only last week in the Express of Tuesday January 28, 2020 on page A5 under the caption “Miss­ing” teen mom says sorry” there is the sad tale of 16-year-old Arianna Solomon who, along with her son, was reported missing.

Many questions need to be answered

Everything about this story is heart wrenching and many ques­tions need to be answered by the Children’s Authority, because here again is a 16-year-old, who seems to be out of the school system, with a child for a man in his twen­ties who seems to be walking free in our land after ensuring that this young girl contributes negatively to statistical data.
First of all, according to the law, Arianna is a victim of the hei­nous crime of statutory rape, and from the story it does not appear that this man was taken before the courts to answer for the wrongs he committed against this child. And she is still a child.
In the story, the mother con­fessed that she “took her out from school when she started hearing “bad” things about her and so the question that teachers have to an­swer is whether they knew about this. And if yes, what did they do? And if no, why not?
Where were the Guidance Counsellors? Where is the system to take care of troubled youth to guide them back to a safe path, a safe haven? Where was the help that Arianna’s mother needed at a time when she became frus­trated with her daughter’s actions in a country where crimes against our children has risen by 137 percent?

She so wanted to protect her child!

Poor Gale Garraway, the mother of Arianna who works in the se­curity industry where workers are forced to work for 12 hours and more per day under oppressive conditions, confessed that when Arianna became pregnant, she tried to assist her in every way. She so wanted to protect her child!
And even after Arianna ran away, mummy broke down in tears pleading for help from the media, from the public for the safe return of an errant child with a son who came too soon.
Even after Arianna returned home, having disappeared on her own volition, the question that the police must now answer is what did they do.
Has an officer visited Arianna to gather information on the man who fathered her child so as to bring him to justice?

Even after 16 yr old Arianna returned home with her 9 mth old son, having disappeared on her own volition, the question that the police must now answer is what did they do?

Has the social welfare officer assigned to her district paid a visit to Arianna’s home to spare this little child the ignominy of further abuse and seek to develop a mind­set within her to bury her past and strive for a future in which she can be excellent?
What has the Children’s Author­ity done for Arianna? These are relevant and germane questions because the story of Arianna is not an isolated narrative but can be reproduced many times over, just changing the names of the little young girls upon whom men keep preying, making them their objects of sexual desire.

A country of just talk

This is a country of just talk and when Dr. Rowley was voted into lead we thought that change in­deed had arrived.
We never believed that the reno­vation of buildings would have taken precedence over human de­velopment, especially the devel­opment of young people whom he promised would be at the forefront of his agenda during his term of office.
We thought his austerity would have been directed at youth in such a way that the headlines would have screamed 137% decline in crimes against children and give to them an opportunity to outgrow their innocence and not have it snatched and stolen from them.
I share the view that the Gov­ernment cannot do everything, that it must prioritize its resources and select a priority that contrib­ute towards the greater good of the country. But I am also of the firm view that while we may not have all the resources in these dif­ficult times, it is Government’s responsibility to cultivate an en­vironment in which our children, our posterity can grow up safely. I never expected under this admin­istration that our youth would be unprotected.
It requires a community to raise a child, a community to protect our children, yes, a community to nurture them to be contributors to the legacy we hope we would have left.
137 percent is a joke since this figure represents the number of reported crimes but the volume of misgivings committed against children is way beyond over which we are shocked and surprised.
Saving children’s lives Dr. Row­ley should be a priority not the res­toration of old colonial buildings.
And while buildings may be im­portant, the lives of our posterity is what matters.
So my advice to the people is to take care of your chil­dren especially under this
Rowley administration.