Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Giving credit where it is due

Published:Thursday | July 30, 2015 | 7:00 AMDexter Wharton

At a time when children continue to be exploited at an alarming rate, it warmed the heart to read of a recent initiative to offer better care to our youths. According to a Jamaica Observer article of July 28, 2015, titled 'United Church offers training to protect children', the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands wants to train persons to deal with child-protection issues.

This timely effort by the United Church must be commended as it seeks to address a malignant tumour in our society that has for far too long gone unchecked. That it has become necessary to train church folk having the responsibility of working with our children is in itself recognition of how deeply we have fallen into the abyss of dereliction of moral duties.

Nevertheless, in keeping up with the necessities of our present reality, such training is most welcomed.

Pastor of the Hope United Church, the Reverend Dr Margaret Fowler, in making the announcement of this new training programme, also highlighted an even more profound thought. According to the Observer article, Fowler asserted that ministers and other church leaders will need to provide a police record and references so that they can work with children.

What does it say about how far we have fallen as a society when our entrusted men and women of the cloth are expected to provide documentation in order to be given the opportunity to interact with our children in an effort to mould and shape their minds?

It says we have failed our children. It says we cannot and should not just trust that because this man or woman claims to come in the name of the Lord they are worthy of being with our children.

Kudos to the United Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands for their show of moral responsibility and the message of necessity they bring with this training initiative. There is great potential for the success of this programme and its effort should be backed by all and sundry; at the very least for the sake of our children.

 

From Boyz to men

 

What our Reggae Boyz accomplished in the 2015 edition of the Gold Cup is worthy of praise. Whether a football fan or not, there are important lessons to be taken from the effort shown on the field in the recently concluded tournament.

Watching the Boyz perform in the earlier Copa America held in Chile offered but a taste of what was to come in the Gold Cup, and they did not disappoint.

Football experts will speak of technical flaws and other shortcomings. But I am no expert. What I witnessed was men playing with heart and with one common goal. And it is true they did not win the final against Mexico, but there is no denying they gave a commendable account of themselves.

Watching our Boyz play against Argentina especially, in the Copa America, solidified my belief that they would have done us proud in the Gold Cup.

Defeating the US on home soil removed all doubt from my mind that our Reggae Boyz had it in themselves to perform at the highest calibre when called on to do so.

They were a disciplined outfit. They appeared fit and focused. And even though errors were made, it did not kill that Jamaican spirit in them - that never give up spirit that life's hill and gully ride has forged in us.

Kudos to the technical and other support staff for the roles played in getting the Boyz that far. You have all made Jamaica proud and we continue to look forward to growth for the team in the future.

To our Boyz, hold your heads up high. You are Jamaican men of the highest calibre. Continue to lead by example.

- Dexter Wharton is a linguist, a theologian and communications officer at the Global Interfaith Council.