Press Release:– There is a mountain of social science research showing that the breakdown of the family leads to the breakdown of the society and the rise of social problems.
Everybody knows the family in St Lucia has serious issues; it’s not rocket science to predict that even if the economic situation improves, the social problems will increase.
We can see this illustrated with the Bahamas.
The Global Study on Homicide 2019 released by the United Nations in July shows that Bahamas, a nation with a much more favorable economic situation than St Lucia, has higher murder rates than St Lucia. This can be linked to the high level of dysfunctional families in the Bahamas society.
Concerned about this serious issue, the Universal Peace Federation, an international NGO with consultative status (ECOSOC) at the United Nations, hosted a conference in its Sunny Acres office under the theme “Rebuild the Family, Restore the Community, Renew the Nation” on the 23rd of October.
It started with three short presentations.
The first presentation was given by Dr. Caius Alfred, director for Family Education at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
He said, “For those of us who are doing counselling, we know there are so many problems linked to the family.
Before, children would hear the same message at home, at school, at work, in the community, but now children have all kinds of influences around them, at school and in the communities. They have access to all kinds of worldviews through the television, the media, the movies and the Internet.”
The second presentation was made by Lorin Boggs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
He stressed that the family is the source of joy and happiness so young people should look forward to marriage and see it as a goal. We have to help them understand that sexual relationships within the bounds of marriage is a beautiful thing.
The third presentation was given by Remy Taupier of the Universal Peace Federation.
He observed that many of the partnerships leading to the birth of a child were merely for convenience (to feel good or comfort each other) and few were concerned about building lasting relationships or preparing before bringing a child into this world. Many of the two progenitors end up living separately.
This is the reason why, every year, 85% of children are born from unmarried parents according to St Lucia official statistics and the reason why St Lucia has a large number of single-parent households.
The presentations were followed by a very open discussion.
Here are some of the points that will need to be tackled in future meetings.
The problems of the family must be dealt with on several levels.
First, the level of the home, then the level of the school, the level of the society, and even at the level of the government as some policies need to be improved or changed.
Not all “love” relationships are based on genuine love; many “love” relationships are self-centered and self-serving; young people will benefit from a better understanding on this.
If we want to influence the society, we need to practice building good families ourselves and serve as models for others.
The participants appreciated the opportunity to share their views. This conference provided a platform to view things from different angles and learn from each other.