Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Worst Neighborhood in Canada" strikes again.

In a place that has made itself infamous with the problems of substance abuse (and all the crimes that follow it), we have people who say they encourage healthy lifestyles and yet through their actions promote the opposite. This is yet another black eye for the "Worst Neighborhood in Canada".

What bothers me the most in this situation is that the people that are supposed to be in charge and helping inner city kids overcome an unhealthy lifestyle where the ones perpetuating the usage of alcohol and tobacco (and I hesitate to not to say drugs, because logically in a party situation with high risk individuals this would not be a very broad leap, especially in Jamaica. But as there is no evidence, I shall apply the benefit of the doubt here as it does nothing to diminish the scope of inappropriateness of the known situation.).

Here's the issue, The North Central Family Centre's mission states: "Our Mission is to carry out works for the encouragement and empowerment of the inner city community by offering a variety of programs. Our programs and services will promote positive and healthy changes in our community." From what I understand all of the children enrolled in the marathon program were required to sign a contract abstaining from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Now I've heard the justification that "the contract ended after the race", but wouldn't anyone that truly wanted to help these kids live healthy lives off of the dependence from any type of substances continue that contract on principle? What I'm trying to say is that if you TRULY wanted to help these kids live a lifestyle free of dependence, why would you EVER supply any of them to high risk individuals? Ii makes me feel the need to ask how this in any way fulfills their motto of "Empowering Youth, Families and the Community"? Why wouldn't you continue the contract even after the race, and if a deadline is required make it after you've returned home? Even on principle this contract should have been enforced by the chaperone's until the children were no longer THEIR RESPONSIBILITY!

I believe the Centre needs to take measures to re-establish it's credibility in the community which they propose they are there to help, and I feel this action is obviously the dismissal of the chaperone's involved, and further after the ridiculous decision of the Board of directors not to accept their resignation that these Board members ALSO need to step down and let others with a higher standard of values step in and take over.

Obviously this was not entirely an altruistic undertaking for these people, and it makes you wonder why they are doing it if their beliefs don't really match up with their stated philosophy........ Money maybe?

Ever more the cynic,

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