NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 22, 2013) — Junior Minister responsible for Youth and Social Development on Nevis Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams expressed sadness for what she described as tragic events which involved the death of three of the island’s young people and said it was a time for reflection and to seek solutions to counter the foreign culture of violence on Nevis.
She was at the time delivering a statement on Nevis Television channel 8 (NTV8) on May 21, 2013, following the shooting deaths of Kishmoy Challenger, 29, and Jamal Isles, 21, and the death of Chazere Davis, 18, between May 14 and 21, 2013.
“This is yet another occasion for us to reflect on ourselves as individuals and as a community and to ask the very pointed question where has this foreign culture of violence emerged, with a view of finding solutions to tackle this very problem.
“It is very obvious that the island is hurting and we as a people have to start right now to deal with the deep-seated issues that have caused us to be in the position which we find ourselves today. We cannot continue to operate in denial, for if we do, we will be on our way to losing the little sense of community that we have left,” she said.
Mrs. Brandy-Williams stated that as a community, persons on Nevis had to begin re-evaluating their values and beliefs.
“We have to start by re-evaluating our values and beliefs to find a common ground on which to tackle this serious battle of saving our children and our communities. We need each other; for the task ahead is not an easy one,” she said.
The Minister used the opportunity to speak to her plans while in public office, among them the establishment of community councils that would bring communities together to address issues that were challenging the survival and existence of Nevisians and invited volunteers to help make her plan a reality.
“I’d like to invite volunteers from civil society, faith-based organisations, the clergy, the Opposition and all who are willing to form part of these councils to indicate their interest to the Ministry of Social Development.
“This problem is not only a societal problem and therefore, it behooves all of us to take a keen interest in what is happening around us,” he said.
The Youth Minister also showed empathy to the family, friends, colleagues and school mates who were going through a period of bereavement and urged them to be cognizant that the Nevis Island Administration and all the relevant arms of Government would do all in their power to provide the necessary assistance to help them through that difficult period.
She admonished all to remain calm and supportive and to continue to be strong for each other as the entire country mourned the loss of the three youths.