Minister for Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, Gloria Shillingford, has commended the government for the work it has done to assist the elderly in Dominica through the “Yes We Care” program.
Speaking at the 16th Inaugural Meeting of the Atkinson Village Council, Shillingford explained that the government’s program to care for the nation’s elderly is the envy of many other countries.
“Government has this flagship program, a program that many other countries envy this government for. An initiative started by our prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit and we call this the Yes We Care program,” she said.
She added although the government is doing its part, every community has a responsibility to “look after its own.”
“The elderly have served us and served us well, some of them are now needy and vulnerable and sometimes person feel that they should not get what this government affords to them but they deserve every bit of it,” she said. “At 70 years, 65 years, 80 years you have done your task and if you can no longer do it, the rest of us who can stand strong, we have a responsibility to look after those who are weak.”
She pointed out further that the community also has a task to look after the youth.
“They might be troublesome, some of them may even be disruptive but they are our youth,” Shillingford said. “If we give up on them, who is going to look after them? So we cannot give up on them we have a responsibility also to guide them through.”
Shillingford emphasized that special care and attention should be given to the small children and warned gainst child abuse, especially child sexual abuse.
“We should stop destroying our children because when we destroy them we destroy a generation,” she noted. “Parents hold your little girls as your hand bags when you cannot see them or you cannot leave them with a responsible person, hold them with you when they are not at school, keep an eye on your children.”