On the Corner | Fletcher’s Land safe for children
It is a scourge for many inner-city communities across the island: perverts taking aim at children and demanding or coercing them into sex.
But in the section of the west Kingston community of Fletcher's Land, known as 'Diplomats' Corner', residents have vowed to protect the children, and the issue of under-age girls getting pregnant is non-existent.
Last Thursday, several residents, including young girls, told a Gleaner RISE/Life Management On the Corner with Unattached Youths forum that the teenage girls are left to develop and educate themselves, away from the clutches of men who want first touch of their bodies.
"No, none of that not going on, man. You see how this thing set, you talk to people in your own age group, and none of these little girls not going to go out and look any big man.
"Them wise up and are looking more at education," said Stephan Green, a highly respected schoolboy footballer in the community.
He was joined by Carlton Powell, an elder who has spent much of his life trying to address the social challenges, including hunger, homelessness, and unemployment, faced by the most impoverished youths in the area.
"Remember that is we first start the parenting programme. We send children off of the streets at nights. We regard them, so we not going to try to blight dem future. We wouldn't want that reach our little daughters," continued Powell as other participants chimed in with support.
One of the teenage girls, Kerice Taylor, said that she feels safe walking in the community at night. It is the same for her friends.
"I feel free to walk anywhere. I don't have to fret that somebody is going to call to me or threaten me. I don't see any big man on the corner putting any argument to me," said Taylor.