International Day of Families – May 15-Message from Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Minister Vincent Meriton


Minister Meriton“On this special occasion, I would like to wish all Seychellois happiness and peace within our families, not only for today but also for the future.

“It is important and especially more so in this present time, that we realise and reaffirm the importance of families in the stability and development of our society. Families are much more than groups of individuals. They provide children and adults with a sense of belonging, of being valued, and with a vital network of historical linkages and social support.

“Throughout the world, the family is rightly recognised as the basic and most fundamental unit of society. This is because families are domains where our children learn personal values and appreciate social behaviour. It is in our families that we instill discipline in our children so that they grow up able to develop positive interpersonal relationships that encourage learning both in the home and at school.

“I today commend and thank all parents, guardians and homes that make their children and family their priority. We all know that the tasks of parenting are today more complex than ever before. Mothers and fathers have to balance their economic and social roles in a more challenging environment.
“Modernisation has brought many benefits that have allowed women, men and children to flourish as individuals and pursue their own personal dreams. But this has come at a price with many parents taking a less active role in the upbringing of their children.

“It is evident today that we need to renew our social bonds and communal spirit within our families. Individuals who decide to live together either in marriage or cohabitation must understand that they are entering a relationship and partnership with serious responsibilities. Those who are planning to become parents or are already parents must know that they now have a decisive and lifelong obligation to their children. This is part of being a family. It is one of the most vital commitments we can ever make. It is what makes family life sacred.

“We must acknowledge that our children are our primary responsibility. It is our duty to care for them, protect them and instill in them the values that will allow them to face the world with strength and conviction. We cannot afford to send our children out into the world thinking that somehow they will on their own find their way to develop and fulfill their potentials. Our children today may not have the luxury that we, the adults, had growing up. They may not be enjoying the comfort of an extended family system that used to keep an eye on each other. We have to guide them in the right direction.

“It is up to us parents to stand up and ensure that our children are equipped to understand the pressures that will come their way, that they know the importance of saying no to drugs. When we, the parents, are the good examples for our children to follow, they will not be looking for role models elsewhere.

“We must also strengthen our community-based organisations to assist and guide our families and work with our traditional partners like the church and all faith-based organisations to assure that we revitalise our communities so that the core human values are promoted at all levels of our society.

“That is why today, I appeal to all Seychellois to be more aware of our role within our families. It is easy to allow ourselves to lose sight of what should always be most important – our children, parents, spouses, siblings, the grandparents, and other loved ones. In a healthy family we are each other’s keepers. Life can be challenging but we must ensure that our family is the fortress and haven that we can always turn to.
“Once again, a happy and joyous day to all our families.”

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