Families agency to increase efforts
A group of organisations that help Bermuda’s children is stepping up its efforts to meet growing needs, members are expected to hear today.
Martha Dismont, the chairwoman of the Inter Agency Committee for Children and Families, is to explain at an Annual General Meeting how the network plans to boost its advocacy work.
In her report, she will say: “As service providers, we are seeing unskilled, low-educated, emotionally challenged members of our population struggling to meet basic needs more than ever before.
“We are seeing the average employable, but unemployed, person struggling in a high cost economy, ultimately affecting the wellbeing of children.”
Ms Dismont’s report adds: “Healthcare has become unaffordable for the average person, and the cost of living has pushed middle income families to a level of just surviving.
“Our youth with also continue to struggle with self-esteem issues, as a result of being targets of bullying at schools and on the internet.
“Other young people will continue to join gangs and adopt the gang culture for a perverted sense of comfort and brotherly love.
“We don’t have to go very far to see what is happening within our community. If we do not have the preventive measures in place to stop these conditions and trends, then we will surely pay at the other end of the spectrum.”
Attendees to the meeting this morning will hear that the IAC has recommitted itself to be “a voice for the voiceless” and to “awaken the community to the needs of the underprivileged and underserved”.
The network, which was formed in 1997, plans to hire a full-time programme manager this year to drive its work and hoped to welcome new members as well as offering more member benefits.
A new chairperson is expected to be announced by autumn.
Ms Dismont would say: “IAC’s vision is ‘a just and equitable society where children and families thrive’.
“By all appearances, this seems like a very far-off vision. It is possible that the only way to make this vision a reality is to truly envision what we want to see, and to then go for it.
“In our National Children’s Agenda, we have the vision. It is now time to truly go for it.”
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