EDO on a mission to rebuild, reshape community
July 24, 2009
EDO on a mission to rebuild, reshape community

The members of the newly formed Evesham Development Organization (EDO) have promised to make a concerted effort to rebuild and reshape their community.{{more}}

On Sunday, July 19th, 2009, in pouring rain, residents of Evesham launched EDO at the Marriaqua Learning Resource Centre. They are intent on reclaiming their community, which is seriously affected by crime.

On the heels of shooting incidents and an armed robbery, the community held several consultations earlier this year to address the situation and EDO was proposed as a way to tackle the challenges.

Bernard ‘E.B.’ John, a force behind the organization said, the community has had good reason to be concerned about the direction in which some young people have been heading and also about regrettable incidents that have raised their ugly head.

He noted that EDO was established by civic minded residents interested in providing some support and direction.

John said EDO’s mission is to facilitate the overall development of residents of Evesham and its environs, with special emphasis on empowering young people in the areas of vocational skills development and providing opportunities for cultural, social, sporting and recreational expression and enrichment.

Newly elected president Ray LaBorde said as the organization makes its first public appearance, it was quite fitting and timely that it chose the theme: “Empowering Our Youths to Reshape and Rebuild the Community.”

LaBorde challenged the members of the organization to find ways by which the youths can develop skills so that they make a positive contribution.

“I must hasten to say EDO cannot and will not be able to do it on its own. We need the endorsement of the entire community,” LaBorde emphasized.

He said in times past, Evesham was a tranquil community and people roamed the streets even in the wee hours of the morning. However, nowadays Evesham is a ghost town by 7 p.m.

Delivering the keynote address, Patsy Wyllie, this country’s Chief Health Educator and also a stalwart of the community, said as she stood to make her presentation, many fond memories flashed before her.

She said upon inquiry about the recent happenings, she learnt that several things have gone wrong in Evesham. Wyllie lamented the rise in crime, violence, lack of mentorship, discipline, training in the home, and lack of love for self and others.

Reminiscing on life in times past, Wyllie said: “There was the support of the extended family. You had more parents than the ones in the home. You dare not be seen doing something wrong or what the adults considered to be unbecoming. You were not spared in any way.”

In her view, some people are thankful now for the way they were raised, while others are bitter and have sworn never to have their children go through the same experiences.

“So we went from one extreme to the other, being irresponsible, uncaring, unloving, ill-disciplined and selfish,” said Wyllie.

Wyllie praised the advent of technology, but she was also critical of the negative effects. She said gadgets such as computers, play stations, and video games afford little communication and interaction with other members of the home.

She warned the gathering that as they attempt to rebuild the community, it will not be smooth sailing, as they will experience challenges from the community they intend to help. She urged them not to be deterred.

Wyllie challenged the members of the group to be an inspiration to others, as they influence and mobilize the community to do positive things.

Membership in EDO is not restricted to the residents of Evesham. Persons living in the surrounding communities of Riley, Carriere, Collins, La Croix, Ginger Village, and Mesopotamia, were also encouraged to join.(HN)