Protect Our Children! Penalize the Perpetrators

P1070759            Child Sexual Abuse – is a real and deadly phenomenon in our land.  Hiding it under a bushel will not do us any good, and our future generations will be unproductive if we fail to protect them.  The societal impact will be detrimental.

Child Sexual Abuse “is sexual exploitation or sexual activities with a child under circumstances that indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or threatened.  This definition includes inappropriate sexual activities between children and adults.”) – Family Violence Legal, Medical and Social Perspectives – Harvey Wallace pg.66.

Two types of sexual abuse are extra-familial; (which refers to exploitative sexual contact with perpetrators who may be known to the child – neighbors, babysitters, live-in partners), and intra-familial (which includes incest, and refers to any type of exploitative sexual contact occurring between relatives). 

This recent abuse being discussed widely on social media, but which has occurred in our island is cause for concern.  This child unfortunately is being advantaged, and raped over and over again by the promotion of the video and the blames that are being placed on her.   Who is going to protect her?  Who is going to help her to regain her dignity, build her self-confidence and aim toward a productive and happy future?  Continue reading

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Quit Inundating Us during Storms

Social media is great, and with its popularity the world we live in has shrunk.  We are a small village.  I mean literally, everything that happens in every corner of the world can be within our reach in lightening speed.  One can hail this as a wonderful invention and human progress.  Cheers!  P1000576

One step back, and social media can be a grand annoyance.  I specifically want to speak of the level of inundation that sweeps through my cell phone and social media feeds during the times of storms and disasters, accidents and heart-breaking incidents.  The sharing makes sense, but am I the only one who feels like some people just need to take a chill-pill during those horrible occurrences?  Some people just literally block up the phone space with photos, videos, and unnecessary rantings during such horrible times.

Maybe some of us would prefer to not know what is really happening at the moment; since probably during the time of the bad experiences we just want to center ourselves to a higher place where peace resides?  Maybe the pictures and videos lead to negative emotions like anxiety, depression, confusion and stress especially post Maria Trauma.  We must not forget that many people are still carrying fresh scars from both TS Ericka (2015) and Hurricane Maria (2018).  The inundation has potential to trigger mental breakdowns.

The decision to shut off all Whats App chats, or just turn off the phone is something  each person can decide to do.   It is about the power that is within our reach as relates to these annoyances.   Still, our netiquette, and social media courtesies are lacking.  You see there is information, and then there is too much information (TMI).  There is sharing or sensitizing, and then there is spamming.   Heck, yesterday’s rainy, flooding event was really painfully spam-y for me, and I bet for others.

Granted, I understand the need for the sharing of some of that info, especially for our friends, families and international patrons abroad.  The news is good, but the constant sending, re-sending, over-sending of those videos and photos via people’s private group chats, is just too much.

What I am actually seeking is a level of consideration from all and sundry.  If one has a photo or video and chooses to send it to others, I suggest you take the opportunity to request the permission of the other person.  As for sending them in a chat / group shared by many, this is even more crucial.  Show some consideration, and restrain yourself for the sake of the sanity and respect of others.   Do remember, some people are on several Whats App groups and may receive some of the same materials multiple times.  Let us stop the inundation, especially during the storms.

How do you feel about this matter?  Do you think that the sharing turns into spamming for you?  Your comments are welcome.

Called To Be Resilient

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Our Portsmouth

A word, an expression, a term I shunned, disliked and totally got a bit fed up of simply because it is being swung to and fro by our populace with good intentions in some circles, and with malicious intentions in others.

Still, I thought, if I seek to view this terminology in a different light, with new eyes, maybe it will make the necessary sense to me.  Undoubtedly there are many who share this sentiment of skepticism toward the concept, be them what they may – the reasons.

Resilient means “able to stand or recover quickly from difficult conditions ” – English Oxford Dictionary.    Despite how one may feel, the fact stands that we must be able to apply such actions in order to survive the rigging of life itself, first as individuals, and then as a nation.

As if to test our resilience and or ability to prove the purpose for this movement toward becoming the number one resilient, or is it the first Climate Resilient Nation, Dominica today suffers yet another onslaught of nature’s savagery.  Continue reading

Urgent Need – Collaboration!

Within a short two weeks, we have had three dreadful murders within our small island.  This is not news to shout about, neither is it something we want to publicize.  The public debate continues, and so does the blame game.  What baffles me is how some of the political parties are busy seeking to prove their points about who is the cause of these occurrences.  p1070003

Are we serious about seeking solutions to this obvious urgent crisis pinching at our social fabric?  The effect of blame is that, we divert from the true issue with the hope of convincing ourselves that we have little or no responsibility to what ever the problem might be.

This current behavior is a clear demonstration of the fact that this little Dominica needs unity.  We are so very divided, and especially politically.  I mean, every single event is interpreted via political eyes, to the extent that the effort to seek empirical evidence for our social demise is seemingly ignored by all and sundry.  While many are aware of the reasons for these dreadful killings, and will not divulge any information to the powers that be, efforts to discover these true and real reasons are being ignored.  It appears to me that some key voices and leaders in Dominica are more interested in seeking to score political points, than to seek solutions to this problem.

While all this debate persists, Dear Dominica, your young men are getting lost in droves, your women are being left to feel helpless, your populace is hungry for vengeance, and your legislature is now busy grappling for a way to curb this madness.  What we are missing, however; is the element of collaboration to conquer this monster.   Continue reading

A Call To Worship

40131308_10155608044865965_8585435399009075200_nMany people who do not subscribe to what I may believe will probably frown on the latest call for us to gather to worship.  I strongly believe we have an obligation to surrender to God daily, not just when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, but on a regular basis.  The point is that, we are in relationship with Jesus, and must remain connected to Him.  After all, He is the Source and Summit of our faith.  So, to profess that we Love Him and not set aside the quality time to honor and worship Him, is to be contrary to our own profession.

The Call to Worship is for All people, especially for all of us who claim to belong to God.  We are called by many people to do many things, often things which have nothing to do with strengthening our connection with God the creator.  There are many voices screaming out our names, seeking to win our attention and responses.  We must know the difference and determine who we would like to follow, who we would like to choose and whom we choose to serve.      Continue reading

To Preserve The Remnant

IMG_20180520_083558_044On the heels of having written about “Saving Our Boys”, today – seven months later, I am still concerned that the gun culture is taking newer heights.  When in the middle of a city our young males can walk up to another and take a life stone-coldly, we are in deep trouble.  The rhetoric about this is many, and the blame-game is tremendous.  From Government, to Opposition, to Police to Parents, and Society and its political biases, everyone one is being blamed by everyone else.  The churches and religions are not left off the hook, and are all being blamed for this monstrous act plaguing the nation.  The churches’ lack of a collective and well constructed voice, and their seeming misguided focus is being lambasted by believers and non-believers alike.   So who or what is really to be blamed?

I do not have the answer, let me hasten to say.  What I do have however, is a few thoughts and observations about the nature of our society lately.

We have really been busy tearing each other up via social media, and live radio talk shows.  We continue to treat others with scorn, neglect the younger generations, and the responsibilities  we have been given to teach them basic values that many of us were introduced to as children.  (Granted, some of them care squat about these values now.  Maybe the tree is already bent out of shape?)

The fact is, our basic etiquette, manners and social responsibilities have been eroded.  We have a serious Hurricane-Maria-Effect happening to our once-upon-a-time culture of courtesy, an effect which sadly has long preceded Hurricane Maria itself.    No one cares to stop to give way for the benefit of another, everyone is busy, everyone is entitled to everything more than the other person, and no one dares to accept wrong when he or she is wrong.  If this is what we teach then it is the modus operandi for those who are so awakened to the lessons being taught.  After all, our children live what they learn. Continue reading

#PreserveOurBoys Work-Forum! – The Rational!

FB_IMG_1515539337898Some of you may have read and responded to my recent post on “Saving Our Boys” as can be found on my blog.  After having written about the gun-violence issue in the Town which directly affects that group, and having advocated for us to be a more proactive people, I think that it is necessary for me to do more than write about it; thus, the birth of the #PreserveOurBoys Work-Forum.

People are generally familiar with the term ‘workshop’, but I have chosen under the banner of my Official Page “Ceez On-Demand” to initiate and dub the event as a Work-Forum.  The purpose hoping to be captured in the term ‘work-forum’ – is  Continue reading

No RUSM – now What?

Post Hurricane Maria woes continue to directly hit every sector of this country, and this most recent redundancy of employees’ situation at the Ross University School of Medicine is a hard one to process.  I don’t work there, neither do I have any person in my household who does, but living in this town (Portsmouth where this institution is located), and knowing so many people (some friends and relatives) who have been employed at Ross for years are enough reasons to be able to empathize with all affected.

On a national level, this phenomenon is definitely going and has already begun to dent the treasury’s purse, and that of so many members of the private sector.  From utility companies, to home-owners, restaurateurs, tour operators, taxi drivers, doctors, nurses and the local ‘hustlers’ selling coconut water along the Ross Boulevard to name a few, are negatively impacted.  The apartment owners with high mortgages requiring regular attention, and bankers who are probably now orchestrating means to collect much needed payments from the now unemployed is equivalent to a horror story unfolding without restraint.

I mean let us face it – no one really saw this madness coming pre-Maria, but it has, and is evolving rapidly.  Who can forget the folks in the food shacks adjacent to the school, those super-market owners and employees, the bus drivers who made regular trips to and from Roseau carrying Ross’ employees and students, the health fairs offered by the med- students, and the litany of positive rituals surrounding daily processes of the institution that many of us took for granted?  The point is, Ross University School of Medicine is a much required venture in Dominica, and should or must be fought for.  I make this statement with the hope that it is not too late for that fight to ensue by all relevant parties with the weight being on the shoulders of the powers that be.  Continue reading

Saving Our Boys!

Post Hurricane Maria recovery is what most of our populace have been focused on.  Despite these efforts a desire to usher in 2018 with a sense of purpose and joy must have been deep seated within us.  Certainly, none of us anticipated the latest dreadful occurrence of yet another horrible death by gunshot in the Town of Portsmouth.  Not that we didn’t think this could ever happen, but it is just not the thing anyone would have liked to happen.   Obviously, this created a dreary and gloomy new year’s observance for Town folks, especially friends and families of the fallen and those of the perpetrators’.

Sadly some among us will immediately seek to shut down this expression with the notion that when things like these happen around us we are just mere reactionaries.  Truth be told, there is nothing wrong with being reactionary.  Still, this characteristic must and should be complemented with a level of action before the fact, or probably as a means of preventing such occurrences.  So, yes there may be a level of value in the criticism, but it is not sufficient and should not be used as a tool to shut down future endeavors to address this problem in our society.

Clearly, Portsmouth is not the only place with this problem where young men kill each other with guns, but this happens too frequently among our people; besides it is also one that seems like a bad wound that never cures.  If we have to chronicle the number of such deaths, and or disappearances and injuries which occurred through guns, and or some sort of violence among our young people (men in particular), then this is too many.  Continue reading

Teacher Maria

Teacher Maria, you spared no student

Unleashed your lessons without restraint

Your test we’d pass, we were confident

Your plans being stronger made us relent

 

Prior to class we were all in high spirits

Flexing our muscles, rehearsing our lines

After all, your colleagues gave us merits

Irma, and Harvey weak teachers in our minds

Continue reading

What do You Have to lose?

“What do you have to lose?  I tell you already you are looking good so.”  These comments were trashed at me about one week ago during my early morning workout session from a young man who seemingly has nothing to lose.  My response to him was, “this hardly is about losing something; rather, it is about keeping well and healthy.”

The point is, I know we all have to die some way somehow, and this inevitability we have no control over.  But come on, do we need to allow ourselves to just get all flabby, shaky, out of shape and in some way even ugly?  Clearly we will not always acquire the Coke Bottle Shape, nor will all of make it to the national sports team, some of us won’t even lose all the pounds we desire to shed, while others of us may not even survive the workout, we could die from it.  Still, is it worth it living life with no motion, no movement, a lack of self-motivation and discipline?

Looking back on my childhood and adolescence remind me of the many days I walked from Gutter (Cotton Hill) to Long House and back in the hot sun to take my mother’s tickets and to collect her pay cheque.   My mother carried ‘fig’ (bananas) on her head weekly as a job.  For each trip she made from the shed to the badge, she collected a ticket.  This was all a part of the Geest Trade of Bananas from the local Portsmouth Port to England.  She along with many women made their living being part of that industry.  So anyway, I would religiously on a weekly basis do the necessary to collect her money.

Coupled with this, my siblings and I made several trips from our home to the standpipe and back with loaded, and or filled Jerry cans as buckets.  That meant we had to defy two steep hills on the way several times.  Clearly my cardio was in full effect since the aforementioned movements were complemented by cycling.   Later, a fall from my brother’s tall mountain bike Continue reading

Do You Care to Care?

Today on my way to visit a housebound relative, I spotted a familiar elderly man literally struggling to get to his home under a downpour.  With genuine concern I reversed the car and offered him a ride.  To my surprise the elder’s visual ability was rather bad, and so his cane serves as a guide.  That visual impairment prevented him from crossing the gutter unto the main road.  That meant that I was left to get out of the driver’s seat to assist him.

Thankfully, just as I was getting out, a kind young lady ran toward us with an umbrella and assisted with getting him to sit in the car.  That was so uplifting to see, and it shed a light of hope about us as a community.

Once he was seated, we were on our way.  In between small talk and lamentations of a typical elder, I sought to find out exactly where he lived, and he ranted about the fact that he was denied a drink at a shop because the teller refused to sell him the coke he wanted.  I suspected that it was really more than the coke he was denied.  The new odor which drowned the Black Iced air freshener aroma it was evidence enough.

This did not deter my quest to get this man to his home as safely and as dry as I possibly could.  Interestingly, once we got close enough to the junction of his home, I parked where I thought it would be closest and easiest for him.  Well, that was my biggest error. Continue reading

Peace begins with – love?

Throughout my lifetime, I have heard of various riots from around the world.  I even recall writing about the London Riot some years ago, since it drew the attention of many nations.  Probably, I never envisioned us having such similarities particularly with the vandalism and looting which occurred.  Today, I lament about the scare, and fear felt from having had a sleepless night on Tuesday 7th February, 2017.   Seemingly what was a peaceful daytime protest was marred by the likes of a serious riot in our City from early evening into the wee hours of Wednesday morning.   This resulted in the horrendous burning of enterprises there.  These acts resemble a real lack of love that is currently plaguing our island on a wider scale.   Continue reading