Taking Things in their Strides!

"Keep the Faith" is the theme I normally end my article with but on this occasion I choose to begin with it.
For many of us the recent announcements by the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony give us justification for our faith. We have hit the bottom and have begun to make a gradual step back upward.
Residents of the South can look forward to some long awaited activities in the area which are most welcomed. If our social scientists are correct in their findings - crime is linked to poverty or lack of gainful employment - then Vieux Fort and environs can see their young people in particular stop standing idly by the roadside and getting on with their lives.
All indications are that there will be a slow but steady improvement in the area of employment.
Finally, the Friday Night Street Fair is on in Vieux Fort. I am yet to visit the event but I am told that it has been very positive so far. It is never too late as there seems to be not many quality entertainment options. It began with Gros Islet, then Anse-La-Raye, then Dennery and now it is Vieux Fort.
I prayed for years that we would see some real progress in the South of the island which is my home base for the last ten years. The people of the Vieux Fort area are willing to take on the challenge. In spite of the economic state of affairs, in the past few years, we have seen substantial development within the construction sector. Homes have replaced bushes on many hills.
The challenge now is for all the training institutions and business development agencies to establish their presence in the area and begin training programmes for all residents, whether young or old as long as they are willing to equip themselves with the necessary skills to qualify them to secure gainful employment. The human development aspects of the residents must begin now.
I would like to suggest that businesses along with public sector agencies in the area, come together and put on programmes such as Job Opportunity Lecturers and Job Fairs. As a matter of urgency an Employment Bureau or a Job Placement Agency should be established. Maybe a survey of skills within the area could also be considered.
While I keep my eyes on the great potential of the South of the island, I am nervous about developments in the USA where we see total chaos in the financial markets. There is a total lack of confidence in the US markets and as a consequence the other major markets of the world will also suffer the same fate. Until recently, many of us would have been bold enough to say that current developments within the USA could not have happened.
The USA has a lot to do on its home front to engender confidence at all levels of existence. Free Enterprise is being challenged as never before. Many will say Government has given too much latitude to the private sector and has allowed Executive crooks to take advantage of shareholders.
The once esteemed accounting profession is under severe pressure and in some cases could be considered to be a part of the scheme of deception. When will these problems end? I do take refuge in the Bible. There was a time when all churches were very loud in their prayer for peace. I make an urgent plea for us to pray without ceasing, even louder than we ever did - for world peace.
I dare say that with the stroke of President Bush's pen all our dreams could be turned into despair as rumours of war continue to pervade Washington. We are definitely living in times of anxiety. Not knowing what will happen next so we must take it in strides - one day at a time. Do what you have to do, leave the rest to God. Don't plan for God, be diligent in whatever you have to do - the future is God's. Let us keep the faith and because of God's promises we will face tomorrow!
Dated 12/7/02