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The Prevention of Violence is An Investment in the Country’s Economy- Says Dr Deanna Ashley

Dr. Deanna Ashley, executive director of the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) said that the

prevention of violence is an investment in the development and improvement of the country’s

economy and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


Dr Ashley made the observation while discussing recent Peace Day activities on Power 106 with host, Dervan Malcom on Both Sides of the Story in observation of International Peace Day, which was observed on September 21.


“If you want to see an increase in productivity, you must invest in your people. So you need to invest in making sure that children don’t drop out of school and in fact when they leave school, they have learnt and can read and write and therefore can go on to develop useable skills,” she stated.


“So you therefore need to dovetail investment so that those who have failed in schools obtain remedial education and one of the ways to teach and engage students is to use different tools whether it be in or out of school,” she said pointing out that this can be done through sports and the creative arts where children are not being taught or learning using the traditional ways.


She said these forms of meaningful engagements will prevent children from getting involved in delinquent and criminal activities. The VPA executive director further added that if the country is to grow and develop the issue of the prevention of crime and violence must be treated as a priority.


Dr Richard Keane, chairman of the Peace Management Initiative West who was participating in the discussion said his organisation is committed to work with the communities to strive for

peace.


“When you see a few lives change, your hope is that few will become a lot more and so we work with those that we have access to and we see change both in the way they think and conduct themselves and that is what motivates and drives us,” he said.


International Peace Day was observed on Tuesday, September 21 under the local theme

‘“Sustaining Communities for a Peaceful Country”. A number of virtual activities were held

to commemorate the day. The VPA in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and

Information, the Early Childhood Commission, among other entities, encouraged children to

write Peace Day letters.

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