On Friday, Saint Lucia launched an anti-crime programme with a call for citizens to take a stand against violence and not celebrate it in the things they post or share on social media.
Minister of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment Joachim Henry made the call.
He spoke at the launch of the Crime and Violence Interruption Project.
Funded by the government, the initiative expects to guide youngsters toward opportunities for self-development and growth while reducing community violence.
Minister Henry said he was happy with the initiative.
He noted that crime and violence were not new to the society.
Nevertheless, he highlighted the need to speak out against them while noting that the media could also lend a voice in urging people to be peaceful with each other.
“In the context of this, I think it would go a long way as we add our voices to what is being done at the level of the Ministry, what the police is doing, what homes are trying, what communities are doing,” the Castries South East MP stated.
He said he often sees people recording the wrong things that are happening rather than seizing an opportunity to say ‘Stop it’.
“And these days sensationalism, whether it is happening in Alabama. We get excited about violence in every form and even when we believe that it is justified then we lose our humanity and celebrate violence in one form but it comes back to hit us another time,” Henry said.
“All forms of violence is not good and we should echo this and not make it more sexy,” the Minister declared.
In this regard, Henry said when something is ugly, people should not post and share it on social media because they would add to the violence.
The Crime and Violence Interruption Programme launched on Friday has three components.
They include the Basic Life and Employability Skills Training and Job Placement component that began on August 8 and will end on October 20.
That component aims to empower vulnerable youngsters with personal and professional development skills.
It plans to equip fifteen at-risk individuals aged 18-29 from Gros Islet, Castries Central, Vieux Fort and Anse La Raye Canaries with life, conflict-resolution, decision-making, job interview, and other skills.
In addition, a series of Positive Parenting Workshops will begin in November 2023, and a Mentorship Programme for At-Risk Youth in October 2023.