Look out for little neighbours
HELLO MI neighbour! Watch out! On the day of reckoning we'll give an account for the mistreatment of the little neighbours entrusted to us! As a matter of fact, a day of reckoning is already upon us: many of the world's hardened troublemakers are products of childhood abuse.
It's the primary duty of all adults everywhere to protect, nurture and care for children everywhere. Grown-ups who know of abuse and do nothing about it are cast as silent abusers and deserve no less penalty than the perpetrators themselves.
This deadly war being waged against our children is not beyond our ability to stop. We have won the war against apartheid in South Africa and made significant strides against racial discrimination in the United States of America, etc. Don't we have a black 'POTUS' (president)?
Two decades ago, this was almost an oxymoron - the WHITEhouse with a BLACK presi? Yuh mussi mad! An understanding of the issues surrounding child abuse will spur decisive action against this epidemic. Physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuses of children are rampant around the world. One research document shows that every year, more than six million children are abused in these categories in the United States alone. In Jamaica, it's thousands! The world's tally could be mind-boggling! Doesn't it bother the mind?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention links negative childhood experiences to long-term health problems which can easily shorten the average life expectancy by 20 years. I am told that many of the estimated 1,640 children who die annually from child abuse in that country, did not reach the kindergarten age. Outrageous!
Adults who were abused as children are at risk for:
Intimate partner violence;
Sexual and reproductive health issues;
Sexually transmitted diseases;
Early pregnancy and foetal death.
As we prepare to modify our stance regarding this matter, there's another terrible form of child abuse which we have neglected for far too long. It's abusive not to train our children in the finer things of life - courtesy, good manners, etc. It didn't occur to the two young ladies, for whom I held the door recently, that they could have said 'thank you' as they passed through.
Even as our children have a right to food, clothing, shelter and security, they have a right to be trained. A statement made by the wise man Solomon some three thousand years ago is even more relevant today: If we "train up a child in the way that he should go when he is old he will not depart from it". Training our children 'in the way they ought to go' could rid the world of its surplus pain and misery. Uuumh.
Again, we invite you to help to ease the pain of someone from list below.
1. Janet, St Andrew, for offering bathroom fixtures to Ms Reid, Manchester.
2. Marcia, St Andrew, for offering mattress to Ms Laidley, St Catherine.
3. Iva, St Thomas, for offering sewing machine to Michelle, St Catherine.
4. Jermaine, Kingston, for offering a stove to Thelma.
Opportunities for helping:
Condrea, St Catherine, asking neighbours for dresser, TV and jeans for new job.
Neighbour, St Mary, asking for financial assistance to start farming Ena, Westmoreland.
Asking for clothing for 13 year old boy and eight-year-old girl - including church.
Eloise, St Andrew, asking neighbours for sewing machine.
Renal, asking neighbours for help to fix sewing machine.
Mel, Kingston, single mother of three asking for a sewing machine to start a little business.
Delta, St Thomas, seeking help for 16-year-old pregnant mother who has no place to live.
Adassa, St Catherine, stroke victim. In need of walker, bed linen, diapers, mosquito net and food.
Neighbour, St Catherine, asking for clothing for boys - seven and nine and girl, five.
Deloris, St Catherine, elderly neighbour asking for double bed mattress, diapers, mosquito net, food and bed linen.
To help, please call 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour C/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; email email@example.com.