July 21, 2021
Five years ago, Cheryl Walkine-Alexandre lay on a hospital bed at Princess Margaret Hospital, wailing in terrific emotional and physical agony, waiting for doctors to amputate her leg. As her hand reached for the pen to sign the medical release, her mother shouted.
“With all due respect,” she yelled at doctors, “You all may have spoken, but Doctor Jesus has not spoken yet. I command that you, the medical professionals, give my daughter the same treatment you would give Perry Christie, Hubert Ingraham or Barrack Obama.”
It didn’t matter that Cheryl’s mother was unwell emotionally or visually challenged. Her faith and strength prevailed. Doctors pivoted. As Cheryl now says, “By the grace and tender mercies of God, they listened and instead of having to submit to an amputation operation I was scheduled for emergency limb-saving surgery. I remember singing as I was rolled into the operating room, ‘I surrender All.’ ”
Nearly two years of healing and recovery followed.
It was tough-going with no National Insurance benefits, private health insurance, or means of income, but she got through and today, in her words, “I miraculously walk on both legs and have a testimony to share of faith, family and resilience.”
It is a story of resilience, indeed.
Beyond that, it is the story of a woman who through joy and pain, success, and failure, rebuilding and finding her own way, carved a movement with a path for herself and others. Old-fashioned in a sense, it is built on traditional family values of faith, hard work, providence, and spiritual and temporal education. On Wednesday, July 28th , the organization she founded, National Organization Development Connections International (NODCI), will partner with the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, a division of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, to present a half-day information-packed webinar. A number of Cabinet ministers, Mrs. Patricia Minnis, wife of The Prime Minister, University of The Bahamas’ Dr. Christopher Curry, Bahamas Feeding Network, Executive Director Philip Smith, international presenters and others will speak and take questions. Pre-webinar and post-webinar interviews/discussions will be aired on ZNS from 9 am to 1 pm during the week of the webinar on Immediate Response with Spence Finlayson and Direct Talk with David G. Wallace. The webinar will be streamed live via The Department of Gender and Family Affairs Facebook page.
In addition to giving participants an opportunity to hear from experts and civic leaders with a social conscience, the webinar is a platform to explore focus on family life principles, and allow Walkine-Alexandre and others to share the vision of proactive and reparative means of building strong family structures and functioning based on both spiritual and research study models that support the Judeo-Christian Traditional family.
“Yes, that is based on a husband, wife, male and female marital union, family, then children, and in that order ideally” she says, “old-fashioned as it seems, it is the root that provides the best foundation for protecting and nurturing children to become meaningful contributors to society.”
Walkine-Alexandre makes no apologies for being ‘old-fashioned.’ Though her single-divorced mother, who she now cares for, did all in her power to provide for and support physically and materially her and her two younger siblings, she knows what it is like to feel emotionally starved and to miss the love and protection of a loyal father in the home. The product of three generations of broken homes – the first a result of her grandfather leaving The Bahamas to work on the Contract in the U.S. and never returning to two young sons – one of which was her own father, who subsequently succumbed to alcoholism at the young age of 36! In a domino reaction, it left her own marriage falling apart when her husband followed a common pattern of infidelity, though she quickly admits not being without fault in the marriage.
As she wrestled with personal trauma, her professional life took its own roller coaster ride. A qualified human resources professional and certified trainer with the Fellow Life Management Institute (FLMI) Distinction designation and Associate Degree in Professional Studies and Psychology, she was also an entrepreneur whose own sweet aspirations led to the 2000 opening of Sweet Indulgences Amazing Cakes and Eatery, located initially on Madeira Street, Palmdale, before an upgrade move to top of the hill Mackey Street. The business blossomed in the first years, but when the recession of 2008 hit, luxuries like specialty cakes, non-fast foods suffered and by 2010, she faced eviction, loss of everything she had worked for including things she took for granted, like her marriage, financial security and physical health.
Being so hurt, deflated, powerless, and humbled by having to seek welfare assistance for the 1st time in her 40s, but witnessing the spiritual strength of her own mother, buoyed by that moment in the hospital when she was delivered as the doctors were ready to amputate, her eyes open. The journey to a new life began and has taken this Marriage, Children, Family Alliance Movement (McFAM) advocate to where she is today, being certified in the principles of Self-sufficiency, Marriage, Family and Human relations, and organizing in response to Hurricane Dorian and the Covid19 pandemic, a new charitable, non-profit, National Organization Development Connections International or NODCI. This endeavor also unexpectedly paved an opportunity to fulfill a long-standing dream of hosting her own live radio talk show.
“Connections with Sister Cher” on Global 99.5 is a promotional vehicle of NOD’s overall mission to strengthen family, individual and business organizations through family life, life skills, self-sufficiency, providence, and human relations education. Cheryl, now continuing in university pursuits, hopes to one day attain a Doctorate Degree in Organizational Psychology and Marriage and Family Studies.
Her biggest concern – young men who lack a strong foundation, feeling disenfranchised and acting out violently and lawlessly; young women so destitute and desperate they are consciously and unconsciously lured to give sex for “love” and financial benefits. Not to mention precious, innocent children who are created in the crossfire.
“I know there are better pathways!”, she passionately exclaims. “We cannot give up or give in…Together,” she says, “we can change these outcomes. They are not inevitable; they are psychosocial in nature. When we begin to understand the importance of the divinely ordained structure and scientific, evidence base power of The Family, working to change destructive mind-sets, natures can be changed to make the difference we dreadfully need to see in our crime, morally degenerative, poverty-riddled society and economy.” She concludes, “We, as individuals and children of an eternal God, must take responsibility for our own well-being, and not place all blame on governments!”
You may contact Cheryl Walkine-Alexandre at 446-9219 or NOD at 803-6300.
News date : 07/21/2021 Category : Press Releases