Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has requested that the issue of violent crime be placed on the agenda of the next Summit of Caribbean leaders to be held in July 2018. He made the request speaking at a news conference following the closure of the 38th meeting of Heads of Governments in Grenada on Thursday night. Holness said while crime and violence had not been a matter on the agenda for this year’s summit, he had taken the opportunity to raise the matter.“I raised the issue from the perspective of not just a security issue. But also but from a macro-social perspective/ the use of violence as a means of resolving conflict, as a means of social control, as part of our social transactions is becoming almost a feature of our societies.”Holness said that regional governments have to take a “proactive role” in addressing crime, and asked CARICOM to place this on the agenda for the July 2018 meeting. He said the other leaders agreed.“I believe that this will start a process within CARICOM to address the issue of violence, particularly violence that ends up in crime,” Holness said.Jamaica and several other Caribbean nations, specifically Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana have been beset by an onslaught of violent crime in recent times. The crime wave includes murders, aggravated robbery, and sexual assault. There is, however, concern about violent crime evolving within domestic disputes.Increasingly, Caribbean residents in the Diaspora are expressing skepticism to return to their home countries, even for vacations, fearing repercussions from the wave of violent crimes. Also, the Caribbean Diaspora is calling for measures to be taken to reduce violent crime in the region, for the long run.Copyright 2017 – Caribbean National Weekly News
Frank Acheampong is handed a starting role in Ghana’s friendly against Japan on Tuesday.The winger will start in attack against the Blue Samurai at the Yokohama International Stadium while goalkeeper Razak Braimah will play in between the sticks for Ghana.Kick-off at 10:00GMT [10:00am Ghana time].John Boye captains the side and he will be partnered in central defence by Rashid Sumaila while Harrison Afful has been deployed in midfield.Ghana line-up: Razak Braimah, Samuel Inkoom, Richard Kissi Boateng, Rashid Sumaila, John Boye (capt), Harrison Afful, Albert Adomah, Yussif Chibsah, Abdul Majeed Waris, Christian Atsu, Frank Acheampong.
The Life Reform, an organisation registered under the Ministry of the Presidency, was launched on Tuesday and its main goal is to address the issues of substance abuse affecting youths in Guyana.The Life Reform – Making Strides to Save Lives, was created with the intention of bringing about the transformation that is urgently needed in Guyana in relation to issues such as the abuse of illicit substances by youths.According to the organisation, data from research studies in Guyana shows young people are the most vulnerable group to substance abuse and first use has been recorded in the 10-14 years’ age group.A section of the gathering at the launch of Life Reform organisationChairman of the organisation, Phillip Drayton, during a simple launching ceremony at the Racquet Centre on Tuesday revealed that research has shown that some 70 per cent of youths in today’s society believe it is okay to smoke or consume alcohol. He added that 35 per cent of parents are consuming mood and mind altering substances and 80 per cent of society does not understand the real dangers of substance misuse.“Our members began to work towards a free Guyana by engaging our certified and experienced drug treatment specialists, social workers, counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists who will assist the general public and persons suffering from substance misuse or any form of mental illness to determine the level of treatment necessary for each individual and intervention necessary for each individual so that misuse can be arrested and recovery can become possible,” Drayton explained.He pointed out that Life Reform will soon be rolling out awareness campaigns focusing on drug education and prevention programmes and outpatient services including regular and programmed meetings countrywide.A major project which Life Reform is focused on is the Secondary School Drug Education and Prevention Programme, a life skills programme which teaches the necessary skills to assist young people to improve their knowledge and to encourage the development of defensible values.This programme, he said, was introduced to the Education Ministry and permission was granted for Life Reform to commence its campaigns in Georgetown and all other regions of Guyana.Drayton encouraged the public to join its journey for a Drug Free Guyana as its members stand ready to collaborate with all interested individuals and groups.Meanwhile, Trevor Hollenkirk, a recovering addict who has been clean for 20 years, is also a part of the Executive Committee for Life Reform and a counsellor. He shared his experience and the hardships he endured as an addict and hopes his story will touch the lives of others who are struggling with substance abuse.He has travelled throughout the country educating persons of the dangers of substance abuse and sharing his story with vulnerable groups. He related how he managed to change his life for the better after battling with substance abuse from the age of 11 years. He is confident that the organisation will serve its intended purpose with success. He urged youths to refrain from the use of illicit drugs and alcohol. “For those of you youths that might want to try marijuana. Put it down right now. It does nothing for you but destroy your life. It doesn’t help you with school work or in any other area. Leave it right where it is,” he urged.Also part of the Executive Committee of Life Reform are Lavern Fraser, the Secretary; and Kasper Carter, Vice Chairman, who were all in attendance at the launch. Moderator Kirt Jardine expressed gratitude for the establishment of such an organisation which he is confident will impact positively on the lives of those battling substance abuse and Guyana on the whole.