Hello Mi Neighbour | 11-year-old changing lives in his neighbourhood
Hello mi neighbour! "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." The wise man, King Solomon, who penned those words, also said, "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them."
By comparing the behaviour patterns of my generation and this generation's, the clear conscience would agree that Solomon made sense. Growing up, our parents missed no opportunity in scolding us verbally and 'strapically'. But that became 'child abuse'. Today, the society is being abused by children who grew up without the 'Solomonic' training.
But all is not lost. Some parents have found creative ways to train their children to become positive role models. Kudos to the Wilmots! Eleven-year-old Matthew Wilmot is not only a communicator, a budding engineer, inventor and cricketer but a neighbour at heart. He is happiest especially when unfortunate children are happy. He believes that everyone should have an equal share of everything. Don't know what little Matthew knows about communism, but in his opinion, "Communism is a good thing - may be bad for the economy but good for the people," he said.
Apart from playing video games in his spare time, he enjoys talking with people - wants to know what makes them tick. For him, that's a great source of education/inspiration.
Touched by the plight of a little boy from St Thomas whose suicidal thoughts were triggered by sustained hunger, this young golden-hearted philanthropist from St Andrew mobilised resources and organised a treat not only for the hungry kid but for other children in a St Thomas community. Through the instrumentality of this 11-year-old, many children are enjoying a better quality of life today. His wish is that he could "visit all the hungry children and feed them".
Matthew, who raises funds in a variety of (honest) ways, donated a swing set to a basic school in St Ann and has already measured their playground for the installation of additional facilities. This pacesetter is encouraging all fortunate children to reach out to the unfortunate ones at school, in the streets, at play. "Children can help other children by becoming their friends." Neighbourliness among children will help Jamaica become a better place - less crime, less violence and less selfishness.
Little Matthew has a charity called the Bustamante Box, which, hopefully, will take on an international dimension in the years to come. His desire to help others is so strong that should he migrate to another country, he would send remittances to help children in Jamaica. When he starts high school in September, one of his first order of business will be to get everyone involved in acts of neighbourliness.
Matt believes that the only time people can truly have a good day is "when they have contributed to the well-being of someone else." This big-hearted thinker, whose ambition is to "help to fix up all the broken-down houses in Jamaica", has a message for the world: "Charity is always before growth - growth is never before charity."
Over to you, parents: train up a child ...
THANKS TO NEIGHBOURS
1. Marie, for offering clothing for three-year-old boys and under.
2. Sister Pat, for donation of a crib.
3. Mutlin, for offering a refrigerator to a neighbour.
4. Yolandie, St Mary, for offering adult diapers.
5. Andrea, for offering household items.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR HELPING
- Angella, St Catherine: Asking neighbours for a second-hand TV.
- Sophia, St Catherine: Asking neighbours for a second-hand queen-size mattress.
- Neighbour, Clarendon: Unemployed single mother of four, asking for a stove - other household items.
- Neighbour: Elderly Christian asking neighbours for second-hand refrigerator - wants to sell juice from home.
- Neighbour: Asking neighbours for financial to help fix her eye.
- Carol, Clarendon: Asking for financial help on behalf of Sharon, who needs to do blood test and CT scan - total $25,000 - situation is desperate.
- 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