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News Article

May 02, 2013
Public Policy in The Bahamas

Dear Editor,
Who or what decides what is public policy in The Bahamas? Is it the government of the day or is it the societal and economic stakeholders, or a combination of all three?

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News Article

April 26, 2013
The three most important issues facing Haiti

The Republic of Haiti has set itself to become an emerging nation by 2030. This will not happen by that time unless it takes steps now to deal with these three most important issues.
1. The complete degradation of its ecology
2. The intergenerational and endemic misery of the majority of its population
3. The lack of sense of civism and the sense of appurtenance linking one citizen to another in a shared heritage.
Starting with the latest issue, the lack of the sense of civism and appurtenance, it is the gangrene that is ravaging the world today. The United States has just spent more than a trillion dollars to pacify and reconstruct Iraq after Saddam Hussein in the last 10 years, but because not enough policy thinking and funding was earmarked for the issue of nation building, meaning injecting the sense of civism and appurtenance within the different sectors of the Iraqi population, the Shiite and the Sunnis, the situation is quite explosive.
The successful nations of this world have no other magic formula. Before implementing any institution or infrastructure building they have given themselves the task of infusing the sense of civism amongst the different ethnic or geographic groups of their nation. Failure to do so, each citizen will try to take its own brick from the national edifice preventing any incremental unified construction. I am afraid it is the story of Brazil in spite of the buzz that Brazil is now an emerging nation.
Haiti, in spite of its original role of pioneering nation-state, has enjoyed very few years of nation building experience. Its founder Jean Jacques Dessalines was assassinated two years after independence, as he was enforcing the doctrine that the state patrimony must be shared by all. Henry Christophe tried the same formula as King Henry in the northern part of the country, but 15 years later, the whole edifice crumbled as the laissez faire doctrine of Alexander Pétion took hold nationally and survived until today.
The different economic and social initiatives have all failed because they are not cooked with the oil of the sense of appurtenance. The benefits of social engineering have remained, as the Haitians have baptized with their natural wit, á l'oral, meaning without the expected outcome. The doctrine of the sense of appurtenance, according to the Renan dictum, the bible of the concept of nation building, is the first ingredient to institute a nation state for any government that has the ambition to do so.
It is the belief and the practice that all the citizens, whatever the confines of their geographic location or the shade of their color or the status of their parents, will receive the same appropriate services of sane institutions and adequate infrastructure. The child of the city as well as the child of the countryside can aspire and can achieve his greatest dream if he appropriates enough diligence and enough creativity.
This is not the story of Haiti. Cumulative governments have accepted that 90 percent of the population lives marginalized, either in the country side without schools, health care and roads and economic incubation, or live in the slums of the city with the same indifference to the basic needs of that segment of the population. Different international organizations with social intervention in Haiti have either mimicked the culture of the government or have engaged in make believe initiatives that have compounded the problem.
To conclude this topic, the Haitian government must take steps to incorporate the education of civism in the curriculum of the grammar schools, the sense of ethics in the secondary schools and at the university. Through affirmative action, it must make sure that those who have been discriminated against for the past two centuries receive their share in the patrimony. This must be done with the consent and the assent of the elite as a natural obligation that each brother owes to his brethren.
Once this step is taken, it will be easier to attack the second issue, which is the intergenerational misery of the majority of the population. The spectacle is the same whether in the capital, in the small towns or in the countryside, hordes of men and women are idle or engage in makeshift commerce where the return is so small that it is a psychological endeavor to continue the business of staying alive.
The grandmother the mother and the child all inhabit the same hut with no prospect of a better tomorrow. The grandmother, who barely knows how to read and write, the mother with only a grammar school education, and a child in an underfunded school, ill nourished and doomed to quit school before achieving the baccalaureate (high school).
Where Haiti is
With such a large population with no formal education, it is difficult to apprehend the policy that Haiti is open for business of the government. Very few global businesses will entertain opening shop in such an environment. There will be some, but they are so inimical to good business practices that the population will regret that they were let in in the first place. The Haitian government should instead initiate a policy of Haiti seeking for business. Using the natural and creative talents of the majority of its population, Haiti must concentrate instead on value-added products, using art as an addendum to machine-made pieces.
Best Western hotel has just built its first major facility in Haiti. According to the corporate executives, Haiti has added a touch of art to each one of its rooms and each one of the walls of the Best Western Haiti is one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, tooled and retooled by hundred of artisans who were given a free hand to use their creative talents.
The Haitian government, to employ its masses of unemployed and underemployed people, must incubate hundred of creative centers where any modern flat screen TV can be transformed with carved mahogany frame into a picture setting. The replicate of this model of art imitating nature and nature imitating art will be extended to all home furniture including the toilet cover. This is the forte where the Haitian people are best. They will find themselves useful to themselves, useful to society and useful to the world.
The Haitian government can also use its mass of agricultural workers to produce organic and nostalgic fruits and vegetables for its Diaspora in the United States, Canada and France. The free zone should serve as a receiver for the packaging, and the dispatching of fresh produce to all corners of the world, bringing back precious foreign exchange money into the country. With a culture of a export-oriented nation, this intergenerational misery will come to an end and progressively the culture of wealth building will become part of the fabric of the society.
The degradation of the ecology is a component of the misery of the population. Unable to wait for the tree to grow it has taken into the habit of eating the seeds. Haiti's vegetation was once destroyed by the rapacious colonial practice of cutting its entire forest of hardwood trees, such as mahogany, cedar and chain for the construction of palaces in Europe. But nature has been so generous to the country that the loss was replenished with a vengeance, with the help of good soil and abundant rain. The population to feed was only around 500,000 people at that time.
It is now 10 million people. Charcoal made of carbonized wood in a pit is the preferred ingredient used by the rich and the poor for cooking. It would have been sustainable if the wood was only the discarded ones. But, the peasants deprived of any other cash commodity are now indiscriminately using avocado, mangoes and all type of fruit trees for making coal for cooking.
Inundation, flood, and construction in a fragile environment have also contributed to render Haiti a land so vulnerable that any constant rain of one or two days will cause disaster of biblical consequences. It follows if Haiti plans to enjoy the status of an emerging nation by 2030 it must first hold onto the land that it already has before the whole structure goes into the sea. It will have nothing to enjoy as it seeks to become an emerging nation.
The government has declared 2013 the Year of the Environment, but so far it has been as most programs introduced in Haiti, big propaganda with no result and no outcome in the end. The minister of environment has failed to engage the public in a massive conservation culture, where in each home vegetable residue is put into a pit to produce organic manure. The seeds of each eaten fruit are saved to be transformed into a seedling for planting later.
Haiti has also failed to engage into the carbon exchange mode where it will use its mountains to partner with the pension fund of say New York or California state to invest into massive plantation of mahogany, cedar and other precious wood. This investment will bring high returns to the foreign retirees, to the nation and to the Haitian citizens while facilitating the cooling of the atmosphere.
These are the steps to be undertaken to bring Haiti into the path of progress and development. They represent the groundwork upon which education, infrastructure, tourism and health can be tacked upon to deliver a true emerging nation well before the targeted date of 2030.

o Jean Hervé Charles LLB, MSW, JD, former vice dean of Students at City College of the City University of New York, is now responsible for policy and public relations for the political platform in power in Haiti, Répons Peyisan. He can be reached at: jeanhcharles@aol.com. Published with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.

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News Article

March 17, 2014
Commending the Crisis Centre, and condemning Leslie Miller

Dear Editor,
I want to thank Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson and the Crisis Centre for all that she and the center do to help Bahamian women and children who are the victims of abuse.
I also express appreciation to the center and its many volunteers and supporters for all they do to educate Bahamians of every race, gender, religion and political affiliation against abuse and in support of respect for the dignity of every human being.
It is a very sad day for all of us when months and years of work undertaken by dedicated professionals and volunteers at the Crisis Centre and in schools and community organizations around our country to educate against violence and abuse is so casually dismissed by a irresponsible man masquerading as an "honorable gentleman" on the floor of the House of Assembly.
Shame on Leslie Miller for his supremely inappropriate remarks about beating a girlfriend.
Shame on each and every one of his parliamentary colleagues who thought his ridiculously dangerous storytelling was something to laugh about.
Shame on the speaker of the House for not demanding that the MP immediately withdraw his offensive and damaging words from the record of the House.
May God have mercy on our small country because it often seems nowadays that we are very lost.
- Geoffrey Cooper

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News Article

May 06, 2013
Reasonable police action

The Royal Bahamas Police Force has a responsibility to keep the peace and ensure that those who break the law are arrested and prosecuted. It should not apologize for satisfying its mandate.
On Thursday night police conducted operations in Nassau Village and Pinewood Gardens, arresting dozens of young men for questioning. The NB12 cameras were there as police made arrests. Some of the residents complained that police were being excessive. Officers were not.
The street gang culture in New Providence has led to much of the violence we have witnessed over the past few years. Murder records in The Bahamas have become common. Certain communities consider their gang bosses more their leaders than the prime minister of this country.
A leading objective of the government must be to retard the expansion of these gangs, which are evolving into organized crime operations. Police should never apologize for making arrests based on good intelligence or reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred.
The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) was elected a year ago with the hope that it would work to reduce the crime rate. Discussing his government's efforts in this regard yesterday just before its one-year anniversary, Prime Minister Perry Christie said they are doing better on this issue and another vexing one, unemployment.
"With respect to firstly crime, unemployment, we are very aggressively addressing them and we have indicated we have seen improvements in both areas," he said.
"Statistics show improvements in both areas. We know there is still a lot to do, so we are doubling up our efforts with respect to both crime and unemployment."
Statistics released by Commissioner Ellison Greenslade last month show that crime decreased by 13 percent between January 1 and April 14, 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. There were 3,492 crimes reported during this period last year compared to 3,025 reported this year. The rate of unemployment nationally dropped from 14.7 percent to 14 percent, according to the latest labor force survey released by the Department of Statistics in February. However, there has been a wave of gang-related killings and shootings since the commissioner's release of those crime figures.
Political parties should not court organized crime groups during elections. Organized crime bosses should not be feared or revered by police or prosecutors. Their increased power in The Bahamas represents a threat to the peace. A pressing concern for this administration should be breaking these organizations. Doing so would reduce our crime rate. Doing so would bring more order to our communities.
These groups are no longer 'bad boys' doing minor crimes. These organizations now use murder and intimidation regularly to advance their business interests. The state still has enough power to break these groups if their presence is perceived as a priority threat. If we wait too long and allow them to become more powerful, our fate may be more like that of Jamaica, Columbia and Mexico.

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News Article

March 15, 2012
Is there political ideology or philosophy in Bahamian politics

We now know essentially all the election candidates of the three parties with representation in the House of Assembly. The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), Free National Movement (FNM) and Democratic National Alliance (DNA) have put forward their slates.
What is interesting is that each of the parties have a few candidates who have run for, or been supporters of, other parties. There are some interesting examples.
For the PLP, Dr. Andre Rollins was a candidate in 2010 at the Elizabeth by-election for the National Development Party, and Dr. Bernard Nottage (the current Bain and Grants Town MP) led the Coalition for Democratic Reform against the PLP in the 2002 general election.
For the FNM, Cassius Stuart was the leader of the Bahamas Democratic Movement. His colleagues on the FNM ticket Kenyatta Gibson, Edison Key and Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham are all former PLP MPs.
Dr. Madlene Sawyer, the DNA candidate for Southern Shores, was a former head of the PLP women's branch. Her DNA colleague Wallace Rolle ran for the PLP in the 2007 general election. The DNA candidate for Bains Town and Grants Town, Rodney Moncur, was the leader of the obscure Worker's Party before joining the DNA. And Branville McCartney, the party's leader, was a former FNM MP and Cabinet minister.
These are just a few prominent examples of the flow of people in Bahamian politics. There are other candidates in the major parties who have been strong supporters of organizations opposed to the groups they are currently with.
What does it all mean? Well, some would say nothing, as politicians in countries around the world change party affiliation all the time. But, it could also be argued that the flow of people from party to party, running under any banner, exists here because there is little to no philosophical difference between the organizations.
In fact, it would be hard to use any traditional economic or political philosophy to describe any of the Bahamian political parties. Could you describe the PLP, DNA or FNM as left or right wing, conservative or liberal? No, you could not.
For example, in the 2012 Republican presidential race in the United States candidate Ron Paul is a libertarian. Paul has a very different view of the world from 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who is a social democrat. Libertarians are suspicious of the state and argue for small government and low rates of taxation. Social democrats think the state and taxation should be used to advance social justice.
It is important to know the political philosophy of parties and their leaders. When parties and leaders have strong beliefs, they bring forward policies that change the lives of people in distinct ways. A libertarian would essentially eliminate welfare. They do not think the wealth of individuals should be taken away by the state to be given to others with less wealth.
Social democrats always want more taxation to advance some Utopian social program to 'help' people. The business climate changes significantly when one of these politicians is elected, as opposed to the other.
Is Hubert Ingraham a conservative? Is Perry Christie a liberal? Is Branville McCartney a centrist? Who knows? Lately, our elections have been run on management style. Essentially, this is the essence of the debate: "I am a better man than you. Vote for me."
A cynic could argue that it is difficult to pin down the political philosophy of our parties and politicians because they have none. Instead, they simply seek power to dispense the authority and wealth of the state. The voters then choose the person they think most able, and that's that. The better manager manages things in a better ad hoc manner not under any recognizable system of ideals.
If this type of politics is good enough for the people, it will continue. For something else to evolve, the people would have to demand more of the process and the people involved.

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News Article

May 22, 2013
International Day for Biological Diversity - 22 May

The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
"This year's theme speaks to the important role of biodiversity and ecosystems in providing for water security, and therefore for sustainable development. Parties, partners and any organizations that wish to put together messages for the day are encouraged to integrate any of the elements from below.
1. Water is life and underpins human well-being, including food security, drinking water and sanitation, and most economic activities, as well underpinning ecosystem health and therefore biodiversity.
2. We live in an increasingly water insecure world where demands for water often outstrip supply, water quality fails to meet minimum requirements and the extremes of drought and flood are increasingly seen.
3. Water security is high on the political, public and business agendas; the World Economic Forum 2013 Global Risks report ranked water supply crises second only to major systemic financial failure, and ahead of food shortage crises, chronic fiscal imbalances and extreme volatility in energy and agricultural prices.

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News Article

August 06, 2014
Concerns over CWI's 'non-profit' status

Concern has been raised regarding an organization, which claims that it will donate a portion of funds raised from an awards ceremony honoring Bahamian women to support sufferers of HIV/AIDS and cancer, over the establishment's registration status as a non-profit organization. Celebrating Women International (CWI) claims it is registered as a non-profit organization (NGO), however unease has arisen following checks made with the Registrar General's Department.
CWI states on its website that it is "celebrating and honoring the women in our lives, supporting the fight against women suffering from HIV/AIDS and cancer".
The group issued a press release in July in which it announced plans to honor 50 "outstanding Bahamian women with an inaugural 'Women of Excellence 2014 Award' for their outstanding accomplishments professionally and within the community". The press release notes that events also to be held in October, include a gospel concert, awards luncheon, women's festival and a ball.
It adds: "Part proceeds from all paid events will support the fight against women suffering from HIV/AIDs and cancer in The Bahamas."
CWI's website and press releases contain a number of discrepancies. These included various spellings of the organization's name and the fact that CWI claims, in a factsheet about the organization, that it was "founded in 2001" as an NGO in The Bahamas, while a July press release later states it was founded in 2013. CWI's website was created on July 9, 2014, according to checks by this newspaper.
Following concerns raised, checks by Guardian Business revealed that the Registrar General's Department found that no such organization - either under the name Celebrating Women International, as the name appears on the group's website, or Celebrating Woman International, as it is stated in its press releases - is registered with the department at all. This was confirmed by official Donna Lightbourn, who said that the department is mandated to register all non-profit organizations.
Contacted for comment, Jeffery Smith, executive director of Celebrating Women International, which is at present soliciting a variety of women from various social strata in The Bahamas to accept invitations to be honored at the awards ceremony in October for their contributions to society, refuted the statements of the government office yesterday.
At first he stated that CWI is registered as a non-profit. Pressed on the fact that this was denied by the Registrar General's Department, Smith then stated that it may be registered "under a subsidiary".
Smith went on to deny that the organization is raising money, saying that they are "not necessarily" hosting paid events, shortly before telling Guardian Business that the organization intends to give monies raised to the "AIDS camp".
"We are working to get the Nazareth Center...we are working with the AIDS camp for monies to go to the AIDS camp," he said.
The Nazareth Center is a children's home. The name of the camp which provides services to persons living with HIV and AIDS is the All Saints Camp.
Pressed further as to whether the organization is or is not hosting paid events, Smith said: "We have not established what is taking place at the moment," before adding: "We have a proclamation from the prime minister. Have you seen the proclamation from the prime minister?"
The Cabinet office yesterday confirmed that the group was able to obtain a signed proclamation from the Prime Minister Perry Christie seen by Guardian Business and sent to potential honorees, that October will be "Women of Excellence" month in The Bahamas. The proclamation specifically references CWI as an organization "founded in 2013 for the purpose of mobilizing and inspiring women across the globe to honor, recognize and celebrate the value of their contributions to community and national development".
Pressed again as to this discrepancy in the information about CWI's founding year provided in CWI's website, fact sheet and press releases, Smith said this can be explained by the fact that CWI's "parent body" was formed in 2001, while CWI itself was formed in 2013.
Asked the name of this parent body, Smith said: "TGKI".
A press release issued by CWI on July 3 states that the organization is a subsidiary of "TKHGFI", a non-profit organization". However, no record could be found of such an organization having been registered in The Bahamas, either.
On its website, CWI describes itself as a "group of women's advocates in The Bahamas, United States and Canada, that supports women's rights".
Asked to confirm who the women's advocates are that CWI represents or works with, Smith said: "We have some groups...I am not able to disclose that. There are several groups here in The Bahamas that advocate for womens' rights".
Asked why he could not disclose the names of the groups, Smith added: "We don't get political here. We are celebrating women. We are doing a great cause".
As for CWI's board of directors, Smith said "We have quite a bit. There is John Allens, Mr. Colin Smith, myself...four or five other people."
An official at Government House confirmed that the venue had been booked by CWI for the awards ceremony on September 30, 2014.
Smith said CWI is simply seeking to honor women. "We've met all of the requirements for what would be taking place," he told Guardian Business.
He said he would provide evidence of the company's registration, but said he could not do so before press time yesterday.

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News Article

August 08, 2014
PM: No apology for 2002 referendum

Prime Minister Perry Christie said yesterday he has no intention of apologizing for campaigning against the 2002 constitutional referendum on gender equality, which is similar to the government's proposed referendum set for November 6.
Christie was responding to questions from reporters about Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash's statement that an apology from him about the referendum more than a decade ago is needed to heal old wounds.
"Look, for me moving forward there is no apology for me, alright," said Christie, following a summer youth presentation at E. P. Roberts Primary School by the Z Bandits Junkanoo group.
"There will be an explanation from me, but no apology. The time has gone. The elections from 2002 are over.
"Hubert Ingraham (then prime minister and North Abaco MP) characterized that election by saying whoever wins the referendum will win the election.
"The people won the referendum."
Christie added that the church opposed the referendum because the leaders of the religious community felt insufficiently consulted.
In his statement, Cash said both Minnis and Christie will have a considerable amount of work to do to win the support of rank and file FNMs and FNM supporters to ensure bi-partisanship on the referendum.
He said the "scars of anti-referendum battles of 2002 led by Christie, who was then leader of the opposition, and undercover agents of the PLP still run very deep.
"Regrettably, with the announcement of this current exercise the scab has been ripped off," Cash said.
"Today, referendum 2002 blood is back in the water. Prime Minister Christie can turn things around. It is up to him to apply the healing balm of reconciliation. It will not be easy."
Christie said he does not know whether the FNM shares Cash's conviction.
He said Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis spoke on the constitutional amendment bills in Parliament and had an opportunity to address any issues.
"The leader of the opposition, unlike Darron Cash, is an elected official who I would pay attention to," Christie said.
"Darron Cash is a fellow traveler, a fellow Bahamian, who has an office, and I pay no attention to him at all with respect to that because it is political.
"He is just political and his terms of reference are just political."
The prime minister said he remains focused on the government's legislative agenda and his term, which he said will be "extraordinary".
In the House of Assembly two weeks ago, Minnis said, "Though there is much which divides us in this place, let us speak with one voice when the issue is equality before the law.
"Let us, Mr. Speaker, speak as one in this place.
"If we can do so, we will signal to every Bahamian and the watching world our unified commitment to the advancement of human dignity in our beloved Bahamas.
"The success of this effort will require a bold and unified, multi-partisan and multi-sectoral effort on the part, not just of the political parties, but of civil society organizations, the Constitutional Commission, as well as social, civic and religious leaders."
Debate on the four bills started in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.
In order for constitutional changes to take place, the bills must be approved with at least three-quarters support in both the House and Senate.
The bills must then be approved by a simple majority of voters in a referendum.
During a Constitutional Commission forum at The College of The Bahamas on Tuesday night, Commission Chairman Sean McWeeney insisted that if there is a crack in the FNM's support of the bills, the entire process would collapse.

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News Article

May 14, 2013
Invincible motherhood

The term "Invincible Womanhood" in The Bahamas has become associated with the Women's Suffrage Movement and more specifically is remembered as part of the famous speech by the late Dame Doris Johnson to members of the House of Assembly in 1959. The description of motherhood in this manner is only appropriate insofar as it speaks to the strength, fortitude and courage of mothers across the globe.
A celebration of motherhood, Mother's Day, which was recently celebrated, is a most celebrated and highly anticipated day on the annual calendar in so many countries. It is a time when many reflect on, honor and appreciate the love, sacrifice and benevolence of the mothers and mother figures. In the days leading up to Mother's Day, children are guided to make special little gifts for their mothers, families attend church together and fathers often purchase flowers and special items for the mothers in their lives.
The origin of Mother's Day
The origin of Mother's Day celebration in The Bahamas does not seem to be very well documented; however one can assume that the actual historical genesis of this celebration is closely connected to and derived from the United States of America.
History records that in 1907, Anna Jarvis, a member of a Methodist congregation in West Virginia, gave away white carnations in church to commemorate her mother's life who had passed on. In 1908, she lobbied for the day to be recognized as a day to honor one's mother.
President Woodrow Wilson would later sign Mother's Day into law in 1914.
The objective of early proponents
Political and social history connects the history of Mother's Day to Julia Ward Howe, who wrote a poem titled "A Mother's Day Proclamation". Howe had originally called for a "Mother's Day of Peace" challenging women to resist the political will of war and demand peace. Howe and Anna Jarvis' mother were considered to be enlightened and progressive minded women who agitated for social change in the best interest of women, children and those who were less fortunate.
The American history of this annual event tells a story of women, who understood the vital role that women play in building society, nurturing and catering to the needs of others.
Motherhood in today's Bahamas
Today, our society is filled with so many social ills, the end product resulting in a crime problem that seeks to threaten our peaceful existence, our way of life and our economic prosperity.
Against this backdrop, the mothers and women of today must rise up to the challenges that our Bahamaland faces. The oft referenced urgency of now beckons invincible motherhood.
Equipped with the traits and characteristics that engender living life in peaceful harmony, mothers must confront with a view to curing the decadence which ails us. As we take a look at our society, the social degradation of communities fueled by a loss of and divergence from our social, spiritual and moral values that have guided us in times past are apparent. The breakdown in the family structure continues to plague us as many children are left to raise themselves, being taught and mentored by all forms of media ranging from television and radio to the Internet. Our children - the future of our country - are bombarded with perils that oppose our core value systems.
Unplanned motherhood
The statistics show a disturbing number of young women continue to give birth to children out of wedlock, oftentimes being wooed by older men in certain instances. Sadly, many of these young ladies are left to fend for themselves after being abandoned by the father of the child and rejected by close family members. It is unfortunate that in some of these cases, the grandmothers-to-be may unconsciously express their disappointment through disengagement of any form of relationship with their errant children. The end result is usually the case of children raising children.
The challenges that females thrust into unplanned motherhood face in furthering their education to improve their standard of living and quality of life are enormous. Indeed significant determination and perseverance are key attributes of mothers who have succeeded under such circumstances. Nevertheless, a continuous pattern of this nature is bound to increase the level of social degradation, poverty and an uneducated class who may in one form or the other become a burden to society.
The mothers in the village
The old African adage that "it takes a village to raise a child" must be invoked in the hearts and minds of women everywhere. Women of every class and strata must band together to agitate for social reforms, particularly in our inner cities that will raise awareness and lead to the implementation of parenting classes, counseling centers and community associations that will focus on the continued education and development of women and children.
All and sundry must answer a clarion call to address the social ills that plague our nation to our peril and detriment. Civic and religious organizations must become more active in this social war that we have been weaved into. The women's and youth ministries in churches must do more to reach out to the communities in which they find themselves to bring about physical, emotional and mental healing to many of the hurt mothers in our communities. More importantly, women must seize this opportunity to unite knowing that there is strength in numbers to bring about the desired social and economic change that will empower women to enhance our communities and ultimately our nation.
The lack of mentorship and proper succession planning continue to create a vacuum in our society. The Bible speaks of the older women being present to provide guidance and wisdom to the younger generation. It is evident from the scriptures that the latter is dependent upon the former to navigate successfully. Mentorship is essential from the home perspective to the workplace, public life and places of worship for at some point in history changing of guards must occur.
Motherhood and Integrity
It is imperative that we witness the re-emergence of integrity among women in today's society; our Bahamas calls for women that are worthy of respect to be emulated by the upcoming generation of females. Integrity remains at the core of nation building. Our children must be able to see and identify living examples of honorable people in our homes, churches and workplace. Women and mothers must display honor and behavior contrary to what is being paraded before their eyes through the media or peer pressure.
A true mother's love must be intolerant of any form of wickedness, evil or injustice even if the perpetrator is her child. We must no longer condone dishonesty and immoral behavior by our children. It is fitting that invincible motherhood raises her head and mothers realize that we live not unto ourselves, but we are the custodians and guardians of the path to success of someone else's future. Our children are crying for help. We must therefore rise up to the task, the responsibility is ours and the moment is now. Happy Belated Mother's Day!
o Arinthia S. Komolafe is an attorney-at-law. Comments can be directed at commentary@komolafelaw.com.

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News Article

June 13, 2012
Make money while saving your soul

With many Bahamians continuing to worry about the global economic crisis, robust and transparent decision making has become critical, given the potential loss of trust in the capitalist economic system. This is even more pronounced among the unemployed and those suffering financial hardships.
"The Dharma of Capitalism" is a plea for ethical behavior in business and challenges the 1980s-style ethos that "greed is good". Nitesh Gor argues that "doing the right thing" is more than a noble idea and can be both practical and profitable. This is based upon his experience and findings in developing the Dow Jones Dharma index, a global stock market index benchmarking companies that meet high standards of ethical behavior.
The author suggests we should look to blend the best from East and Western styles of business as outlined in the "The Dharma of Capitalism". Here Gor presents a model of righteousness, correct action, behaviors codes and ethics to redefine business practice. This is underpinned by the three Modes of Dharma, providing tangible guidelines for making good decisions and includes:
1. Mode of Goodness.
2. Mode of Passion.
3. Mode of Ignorance.
Gor is concerned about the failure of western businesses to take a long-term view and asks what have we learned from the collapse of Wall Street institutions like Lehman Brothers, the failure of the AOL Time Warner merger and questionable ethical standards within the banking industry. He claims that capitalism has been discredited and business and political leaders must attempt to win back the "soul of capitalism" by good works and ethical behavior.
"The Dharma of Capitalism" builds on the idea that corporations can simultaneously create value and social justice. Gor suggests that there is a higher purpose to business than simply profit, and believes that it is time for organizations to change by adopting the Dharma. He adds that by using its three Modes, widespread benefits can be realized including a happier and more committed workforce, greater profits, reduced staff turnover and improved communication.
Although I doubt the "The Dharma of Capitalism" provides the answer to world peace, economic abundance or will appeal to committed capitalists who see their key goal as maximizing shareholder dividend, it does provide an alternative way forward at a time when many would argue that capitalism needs to change and evolve.

The Dharma of Capitalism by Nitesh Gor
Published by Kogan Page and available from www.Amazon.com

With many Bahamians continuing to worry about the global economic crisis, robust and transparent decision making has become critical, given the potential loss of trust in the capitalist economic system. This is even more pronounced among the unemployed and those suffering financial hardships.
"The Dharma of Capitalism" is a plea for ethical behavior in business and challenges the 1980s-style ethos that "greed is good". Nitesh Gor argues that "doing the right thing" is more than a noble idea and can be both practical and profitable. This is based upon his experience and findings in developing the Dow Jones Dharma index, a global stock market index benchmarking companies that meet high standards of ethical behavior.
The author suggests we should look to blend the best from East and Western styles of business as outlined in the "The Dharma of Capitalism". Here Gor presents a model of righteousness, correct action, behaviors codes and ethics to redefine business practice. This is underpinned by the three Modes of Dharma, providing tangible guidelines for making good decisions and includes:
1. Mode of Goodness.
2. Mode of Passion.
3. Mode of Ignorance.
Gor is concerned about the failure of western businesses to take a long-term view and asks what have we learned from the collapse of Wall Street institutions like Lehman Brothers, the failure of the AOL Time Warner merger and questionable ethical standards within the banking industry. He claims that capitalism has been discredited and business and political leaders must attempt to win back the "soul of capitalism" by good works and ethical behavior.
"The Dharma of Capitalism" builds on the idea that corporations can simultaneously create value and social justice. Gor suggests that there is a higher purpose to business than simply profit, and believes that it is time for organizations to change by adopting the Dharma. He adds that by using its three Modes, widespread benefits can be realized including a happier and more committed workforce, greater profits, reduced staff turnover and improved communication.
Although I doubt the "The Dharma of Capitalism" provides the answer to world peace, economic abundance or will appeal to committed capitalists who see their key goal as maximizing shareholder dividend, it does provide an alternative way forward at a time when many would argue that capitalism needs to change and evolve.

The Dharma of Capitalism by Nitesh Gor
Published by Kogan Page and available from www.Amazon.com

Keith Appleton JP, BA (Hons), N.Dip.M, MInstLM has extensive experience within a managerial and strategic leadership role. His academic background and membership in the UK Institute of Leadership & Management underpins this and he can be contacted at KeithAppleton@Hotmail.co.uk.
n JP, BA (Hons), N.Dip.M, MInstLM has extensive experience within a managerial and strategic leadership role. His academic background and membership in the UK Institute of Leadership & Management underpins this and he can be contacted at KeithAppleton@Hotmail.co.uk.

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