National anti-violence vigil being planned

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SEVERAL non-government organisations are planning a national anti-violence campaign called “Voices Against Violence.”It is an attempt to get communities across Guyana involved in anti-violence activism, while fostering the concept of communal action for community well-being.

Currently, The Caribbean Voice, Golden Om Dharmic Youth, Save Abee Foundation, Orchid Foundation, the Anna Catherina Islamic Complex, NJASM, Art of Living (Guyana), Nirvana Humanitarian Foundation, Imagine Nation Foundation, GIVE Foundation, Monique’s Helping Hands, Guyana Women’s Roundtable, and Miss Universe Guyana are the organisations coordinating this vigil.

This candle light vigil is set for World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2016, under the theme “Connect… Communicate…Care.”

The organisers are looking for widespread participation, pointing out that it is an initiative that is inexpensive and easy to organize – each participant simply needs a candle or can even use a cell phone – and that brings communities together.

“Thus, vigils can be organized by religious institutions, local businesses, sports and youth clubs, political party groups…just about any entity or set of individuals including schools,” the organisers stated.

Where possible, two or more groups can collaborate and each vigil can select routes around the community, end at a central point or any other selected place where the participants can be accommodated and hold a rally, whereby pre-selected individuals from within or without the community can speak on the theme of anti-violence and, if desired, inter-faith prayers can be conducted.

During the walk about, anti-violence slogans can be chanted. For the purposes of this vigil all of the following are considered acts of violence either against self or others:human trafficking, suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic and child abuse, rape, incest, teenage pregnancy, road carnage, dysfunctional relationships, neglect of the elderly, abuse of the mentally and physically challenged.

Besides, relationship violence and its dysfunctional socialization spawn, which are more and more looming as issues of critical urgency, can and do shape personalities that easily gravitate towards crime and attending violence. Thus, violence should be addressed holistically and when communities come together they can begin to become more caring and build more togetherness while getting their feet wet in the practice of mindfulness. In effect, anti-violence must become everybody’s business and immediately so! The candle light vigil, held in communities throughout the nation, is a step in this direction.

The Caribbean Voice is requesting that all vigil organizers/potential organizers do contact us ASAP. In Guyana call Bibi at 621-6111 or 223-2637, Pandit Deodat at 627-4432 or Chandanie at 697-9968. In North America call Anna at 646-461-0574, Ty at 646-589-3135 or Sham at 954-778-3222. Send email to bibiahamad1@hotmail.com, keshni.rooplall@yahoo.com, deodatpersaud25@yahoo.com or caribvoice@aol.com. IM Deodat Persaud, Chandanie Rooplall, Bibi Ahamad, Ty Talbot or Annan Boodram on Facebook.