Our Founder and Executive Director speaking on July 2014, at the E.D.R Police Youth Club SEA Awards Ceremony. Venue: Police Training Academy, St. James
East Dry River, Sea Lots, Beetham, Mango Rose and environs are classified as 'high risk' and 'depressed areas' by many in society , within these communities there is a high murder rate, various gangs, illiteracy, domestic abuse, and poverty is high, many fear to even walk through these areas. Yet in the midst of all the chaos lights shine daily, people excel and hope is seen. Sadly the darkness is so overwhelming that the patches of beauty are rarely seen and acknowledged.
Yet among all the pain and starvation which is present we here at O.A.B.I has committed ourselves to work with the Police Youth Club to mentor young people from this area, these young individuals have shown great promise, however many allow their environment to define them, our job is to show them that they can rise above the ashes and define their environment.
This work of re-training minds, teaching young ones to love and trust who have only know hatred and violence and many who have become desensitized to death and killings because its a daily occurrence and sadly part of their lives can be trying at times. The lack of resources can make it even more challenging. However, we find hope in the longing eyes of a child, when they run to you for a warm embrace and when they ask repeatedly for the assurance that you love them.
It was sad watching the children arrive and also watching the Police vehicles take them back to their homes at the end of the awards ceremony. Many would not get another meal like what they received today, many will not have the freedom to express themselves and many will be praying that tonight will not be the last night alive for themselves or their family members.
Watching the children receive the tokens which was prepared for them by the dedicated committee which comprised of dedicated and police officers was truly a delight and a breath of fresh air. May we never forget our youths, may we continue to reach our hands through the darkness to lift them out to safety to become educated and productive citizens of our society and the world.