Carvin Malone wants a structured conflict resolution initiative to be launched in schools and homes to help tackle the issue of crime and violence in the territory.
He said the Lions Club that he leads, as well as Government and non-governmental organizations, should band together to place greater emphasis on conflict resolution.
Conflict resolution, Malone reasoned, is one of the best ways to help curb violence, as well as the territory’s murder rate that now stands at six since the start of the year.
“We have to restore conflict resolution seminars, classes or courses from the pre-primary schools, straight up. You can almost know which of the students are going to be the most challenging from the very first day or year they enter school. And, if you were to teach students a better way from very young, you will have a chance [to address crime and violence],” he said.
“It can’t be just training the children in the school system and then they go home and resort to the old ways because there is no training in the homes themselves. So we have to have the different levels of participation involved… The message must also spread to the homes.”
Malone further told BVI News Online that people who are already trained in conflict resolution and related fields can be used to train others – including community leaders, who will in turn help to spread the message of conflict resolution.
“We have to get resource persons who are empowered to do it already because we don’t pretend to be experts in these various areas. We have skilled people here among us, and those skilled persons will have to identify where they need additional competence – whether it is training through them or bringing in other people who can help train them.”
“We have to get those persons who would be community leaders – not in a political sense, but community leaders in terms of people that the community look up to, and train them properly on how we impart conflict resolution techniques,” added Malone, whose Lions Club helped to host a ‘Stop The Crime’ concert at Tortola Pier Park last weekend.
Malone noted that the turnout at the event was less than expected, but he remains hopeful that the message is being spread far and wide. “Although the participation was not as robust as we would have loved, the message was great,” he further told BVI News Online.
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