Children are not defined by their school, but by making the best out of the opportunities available to them.
This was the message given by Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, today, as he addressed participants at the Boys to Men workshop, being hosted by the National Task Force on Crime Prevention (NTFCP) at the 3Ws Oval at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.
Mr. Brathwaite urged the teenaged boys from secondary schools across the island to find something that they were good at, and to excel, despite their challenges or socio-economic background.?????Each year we go through an exercise when hundreds of children feel that their lives are determined by what happens in one day and that is not true,??? he said.
He encouraged them to look at the composition of Parliament, and they would realise that members attended a variety of schools.?????If you work hard and believe in yourself [you would] recognise that regardless of your socio-economic background, the country offers you the same opportunities as other people,??? Mr. Brathwaite said.
Drawing on several examples of people who came from humble beginnings, but rose to the top, Mr. Brathwaite said it was important for persons to discover their strengths and to excel in those areas.?????I would never be a mechanic, but I know where to find one. I will never be a carpenter, but I know where to find one, and he would never be a good lawyer, but he is good at other things,??? he pointed out.
He further stressed that despite the challenges they may face as teens, there was always a way to chart their path within the law. ???Yes, I recognise that you will have challenges, especially in your school environment where boys will be boys, and your response is to find a way out without retaliating and still be a man and that is part of the challenge; how to keep your reputation of being a man without being violent,??? the Minister said, adding that violence was not the answer.
During his address, Mr. Brathwaite also urged the young men to gravitate toward the positive stories in life and to learn the valuable lessons that come from them.
Meanwhile, Director of the NTFCP, Cheryl Willoughby, told the young men that the aim of the workshop was to engage them in discussion on the issues and the challenges they would face when they left school.?????Crime is not only a problem that can be solved by law enforcement or incarceration. We realise that crime is a behavioural problem, and to address it you need to be proactive and do interventions like today???s workshop,??? she said.