Ball is in Government’s court

first_imgDear Editor,Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has suggested that better parenting, schooling, and religious and community involvement are important to tackle domestic violence. The Hon. Minister must know that political will, more than anything else, can ensure the needed mechanisms:1) Parent/Teachers Associations hold monthly parenting training for members.2) Government supports umbrella religious bodies to organize regular parenting sessions at mandirs, churches and mosques. Perhaps a representative coordinating body can be set up?3) Sensitivity training for all Police officers to address Police disregard for abuse complaints, and bribery in return for doing nothing or engaging in personal attempts at mediation and monitoring bodies to prevent same, among other issues.4) The Gatekeepers’ Program to ensure first responders in every community. The Caribbean Voice plans to implement this programme next year, and we welcome the Ministry’s collaboration. We promise we won’t ask for money.5) Ministry of Education directives for all educators to be mandatory reporters, once abuse is suspected, identified or reported, as is the case in many nations.6) A national survey to determine the root causes of domestic violence, perhaps spearheaded by the University of Guyana, which already has the required skills and capacity. In effect, the ball is totally in the Government’s court, which, to date, has played nothing shots.7) For example: In February 2015, The Caribbean Voice and other stakeholders met with the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB), at which it was agreed that the PTCCB would unveil an adaptation of the Shri Lankan model of Hazard Reduction, which had reduced pesticide suicide in that nation by 50% in about a decade. Nothing has since been heard about that proposed unveiling.8) After our August 2015 National Stakeholders’ Conference on Suicide and Related Issues, Minister Ramjattan informed TCV that President Granger had directed him and the Prime Minister to provide all necessary help to TCV. We’re still waiting for any form of assistance.9) Last year, when a special sitting of Parliament was held to discuss suicide prevention, The Caribbean Voice was one of two NGOs invited to make a presentation. However, our invitation did not come from Government, but from the local office of an international organization.10) Since we launched our Youth & Student Workshop in 2016, continuous efforts to obtain Government’s permission (just permission, nothing else) to take it to public schools have met with no success, even though many schools have requested the workshop.11) Since 2015, continuous efforts to obtain Government’s (non-material) support for a National Youth & Suicide Essay Contest on suicide with US$5,000 in prizes have met with no success.12) Last year the Government voted against a bill to decriminalize attempted suicide, to prevent the Opposition from getting credit for it.13) Last year, when we planned a weekend intervention in Region Two, our request for our team to be accommodated overnight at the government guesthouse was rejected because TCV was “a PPP organization”, an assertion that has no basis in reality.14) Last year also, a request for a meeting with the then Police Commissioner was rejected with an unfounded assertion that TCV had supposedly campaigned at the 2015 elections. Incidentally, Minister Ramjattan had set up such a meeting in 2015, but a few days prior, we were informed that the meeting was postponed, as the Commissioner had an urgent matter to attend to. Subsequent communication to have the meeting reset went unacknowledged.15) Last month, at a meeting with Minister Ramjattan’s personal assistant, a broad range of issues was raised. A response sent to us on April 17 ignored all the items discussed, but stated that “the Ministry of Public Security Budget cannot accommodate additional budget lines to its existing work programmes.” Yet we merely requested $50,000 to print flyers for the National Anti-Violence Candlelight Vigil held on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10. Since its inception by Voices Against Violence, (an umbrella of almost 100 entities across Guyana), two years ago, 800-plus vigils have been held across Guyana. Incidentally, we reached out to the Minister based on his offer of support in a recent Kaieteur News interview.There is much more, but the above make the case.Sincerely,The Caribbean Voicelast_img read more

Community partnership feted

first_imgSusan Gotsch, vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty, gave closing remarks and Whittier Mayor Pro Tem Joe Vinatieri recognized the college’s comunity partners. WHITTIER – More than 100 people gathered at Whittier College’s Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate the third year of the Whittier College and Community Program. Sixty-five college students this year are partnered with four community service organizations in a grant-funded learning program. Program Director Joyce P. Kaufman introduced Whittier College President Sharon Herzberger and Whittier Mayor Owen Newcomer, who welcomed community members and students in attendance at the weekend event. Kaufman then introduced a five-member panel of student participants in the community program and moderated a panel discussion and question-and-answer session bet- ween the panel members and the audience. Student panel members were Alexandra Guevara, Teresa Hidalgo, Marcia Myers, Nicole Schmidt and Patricia Pint. The program boasts 54 community partners as well as 15 Whittier College particpating faculty and staff members. The College & Community Program is funded by the B.C. McCabe Foundation, which was represented at the weekend event by James D. Shepard. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Greece 200-1 Shot in World Cup

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares If you’re a betting man and missed your chance to score a fortune by not picking Buster Douglas at 42-1 to beat Mike Tyson for the World Heavyweight Championship, you could get rich betting on Greece to win the World Cup in soccer – what the world outside of the U.S. calls football – in 2014 in Brazil, as the Greeks are a 200-1 shot.Greece got a decent draw being in Group C with Japan, Colombia and Ivory Coast and will be appearing in a second straight world title run after a disastrous 1996 appearance in the U.S. where a ho-hum team of older veterans went through the motions, being outscored 10-0 in three games and sent packing in humiliation.An analysis from Reuters estimated the Greek side can do well if it sticks to the defense-oriented strategy of coach Fernando Santos,  a style which suited the team well in the qualifying campaign.In the stages to get to Brazil,  Santos’ team finished behind eventual Group G winners Bosnia only on goal difference, with a 3-1 loss to the Bosnians in Zenica proving their only defeat of another solid qualifying campaign – albeit in one of Europe’s weaker sections.With a playing style which makes them hard to beat but unspectacular up front, Greece chalked up an impressive record of eight wins in their 10 group matches, five of them by 1-0 scorelines, the analysis noted.If Greece suffers anywhere it’s in firepower once again as the Greeks prefer to backpedal and try to keep the other team from scoring instead of attacking aggressively, which cost them dearly in some previous campaigns. Santos has a strong core of veterans in Giorgos Karagounis, Fanis Gekas and Kostas Katsouranis.The Greeks have shown an ability to counter-attack off their defense though, with a strong front line of  Celtic’s Giorgos Samaras, Olympiacos striker Kostas Mitroglou and the tireless Dimitris Salpingidis.In the cautious world of soccer, where teams often hope for a 0-0 tie and scores are infrequent, Santos sticks to the script of trying to keep the other team off the board and hoping for a score by his own side. His motto is: “tactics first, technical ability second,” and his style can probably be described as more Hank Iba than Pat Riley, more defense than fast-break.The Greek team played dutifully, if not exciting, in Euro 201, losing to the top side Germans in the quarter finals, eight years after stunning the world by winning the European championship in Portugal in 2004, that grand Olympic year for Greece before the country’s economy went sour and so did the mood of Greeks and that play of their beloved national soccer team.After a creditable display at Euro 2012, where Greece were beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals, Santos’ men only lost out on an automatic place at Brazil 2014 to Bosnia on goal difference.An important factor of Santos’ success is his extensive knowledge of Greek football and culture from his time as a club manager, having coached some of the country’s top clubs in AEK Athens, Panathinaikos and PAOK Salonica. He lives permanently in Greece and knows the talent, while relying on team manager Takis Fyssas, who was part of Greece’s Euro 2004 winning squad, as well as working with the younger teams.Santos is betting on Mitroglou, 25, who has emerged as the team’s star with a flamboyant presence and striking ability, and shown his stuff after a disappointing career up to this year.Despite being somewhat media shy, Mitroglou – who has scored 41 goals in 84 appearances for Olympiakos – is affectionately known as “Mitrogoal” and “Pistolero” by his club’s fanatical fans for his gun-toting goal celebrations.The 2013-14 campaign has unquestionably been his breakthrough season. He became the first Greek player to score a hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League with a treble at Anderlecht in October, and has notched 14 goals in 10 matches – including three hat-tricks – in the Greek league this season, dominating play.While not noted for his pace, Mitroglou’s key attributes are his intelligent movement off the ball, physical strength and a powerful long range shot. He’ll need to have it all if Greece wants to get past the first stages in Brazil.last_img read more