End of year issue - Social Renaissance-National dialogue seeks to address social ills


A national steering committee chaired by Designated Minister Vincent Meriton, who also holds the portfolios for community development, youth and sports, laid out a plan of action involving all age groups to tackle a number of social problems.
Five months later what has been achieved?

A series of dialogues in all districts

Government ministries and selected parastatals and private sector organisations, as well as secondary and post-secondary institutions, have taken part in the series of dialogues.

In total, 54 sessions have been organised with 3,442 people taking part.

The turnout has been mixed. In spite of the low turnout in some districts, the level of discussion has been of a high standard.

School-based dialogues have proven to be highly popular among post-secondary students.
Six topics have been developed based on preliminary discussions held in districts to identify the most common social challenges facing the country.

These are:
- Drugs
- Criminality
- Education, Employment, Economy and Technology
- Health
- Family Relationships
- Personal Responsibility

Focus group discussions were used to allow those taking part to discuss in depth on these issues and come up with concrete and viable solutions on how to address these challenges.

Issues raised during the dialogues were varied. Most of the people taking part associated crimes with drug trafficking and abuse and wide-ranging solutions ranging from stricter law enforcement, including the death penalty, to mandatory education on parenting for would-be mothers were proposed.

The importance of strengthening the family came out in all the sessions and under almost every topic.

An inventory of all policies and programmes of ministries, agencies and relevant organisations to determine the extent that they are working towards addressing the present social challenges is also being carried out. This will be included in the final report.

The next step is to compile the findings of all the dialogue sessions held in the districts, schools and workplaces and categorise the many issues into a data input format for analysis.

Our selection of photos show President Michel officially launching the series of dialogue as well as some performances during the ceremony.


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