I attended basic and primary school in the heart of Spanish Town.
I then went on to attend high school in Kingston. Through it all I remained in Spanish Town and for almost 24 years I’ve called Spanish Town, Jamaica my home.
The stigma attached to my community is known worldwide and not much is expected of the people who call it home. Despite the odds against us, several high achievers have emerged from Spanish Town. However, I’m not here to focus on Spanish Town today I’m here to speak about the struggles of young people in Jamaica.
While the leaders of my country are busy arguing over apologies, having elections and making decisions about prions,our country is falling apart. Young ladies are being attacked and killed, young men with dreams of making a difference are being brutally slayed, young people are graduating with qualifications but no job opportunities.
Our leaders have all these visions of hope but apparently our safety comes last on their list of priorities. Walking home each night sparks fear in me as you just never know when your life will be taken from you in an instant. The news is continually filled with reports of murders but our nation remains mostly silent on the issue. It’s as if we have allowed ourselves to become so accustomed to killings that it no longer moves anything in us.
The way I feel about the state of my country is unfortunately hopelessness. How can I plan a family here? How can I have peace of mind here? How can I have actual hopes of being prosperous here? University graduates aren’t being paid based on their qualifications, corruption stifles the little hopes we have of trying to make it on the right path and crime hinders us from actually relaxing in complete comfort.
I was one of those Jamaicans who proudly stated that I want to help build my nation and I would never migrate but those dreams have faded completely. The dreams and hopes of young people in Jamaica aren’t a priority as our leaders are so self absorbed that they ignore our cries and they continue to put their needs first.
My hope is that someway somehow our leaders will wake up and start to think about the fact that all the developmental ideas that they have will never come to life if we have security issues. Where in Jamaica do you feel safe? I remember when I used to think of Hanover and Portland as places where I would feel safe but now the crime wave has planted itself in these parishes.
Is there hope in Jamaica? We need to refrain from neglecting the serious issues.