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We must all be peacemakers – Rev Al Blake

We must all be peacemakers – Rev Al Blake

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Parents, students and teachers paraded the streets of Kingstown last week, in an effort to promote a tolerant and violence free society.{{more}}

As part of this year’s Child Month celebrations, on May 8, a march and rally, which began at Heritage Square and culminated at the Victoria Park, was held under the theme: “Tolerance today for a violence-free tomorrow,” with the slogan “Let peace begin with me.”

Speaking at the rally, senior education officer Morine Williams said there is a high level of intolerance in today’s society.

“We do not like to wait our turn in lines. We do not like to wait our turn at the bus stop, at the pedestrian crossings or in traffic. Children and young people do not forgive each other for accidents and everyone wants to retaliate in anger,” she said.

Williams also noted that children often take on the “monkey see, monkey do” mentality, by practising what they see being done by adults.

As she made reference to the theme and slogan, the senior education officer encouraged persons to practise tolerance in order to foster a productive and violence free society.

“We must learn to respect each other and from this respect will come the ability to tolerate each other and our individual differences. Parents and guardians, this must be first demonstrated in the homes. The way we treat each other adult to adult, adult to children. Be the one to be peaceful, to give a kind word, to forgive. Teachers, you also have a responsibility to demonstrate this tolerance as we deal with the students on a daily basis. Be positive. Help the weaker ones. Encourage the strong to help the weak,” Williams said.

Additionally, she indicated the Ministry’s thrust towards encouraging tolerance through various initiatives, which include parenting workshops, guidance counsellors in schools and the childfriendly schools initiative.

President of the National Association of Early Childhood Educators Rochelle Tannis also issued a challenge to persons present at the rally to be more tolerant, as children learn from everything that they see.

“Let us take into consideration that what we are doing is having a great impact on our children and we need to do something better than this. We need to recognize that the children are the future for tomorrow and whatever we are teaching them now…it is what they are going to grow with. This is the society they are living in and they need to grow up in a better society where they learn tolerance,” she said.

Featured speaker Reverend Al Blake declared that it is God’s wish for everyone to be peacemakers and do the right thing.

Through the use of several verses of scripture in his address, Blake told persons that they must first understand what it means to be peacemakers.

“In order to be a peacemaker, there are things we need to understand first and then some steps I would encourage us to take or that I would choose to do that would lead to peace,” he said.

“The choice we make will affect others, whether good or bad. We become better people by showing others love. Problems are there, but God helps us and guides us so that we can make the right decisions that will ultimately please him and bring him glory.”

Included in the rally were presentations from schools in the various districts in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Certificates were also awarded to schools, who achieved various accomplishments at their institutions.(BK)

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