Radhica De Silva
In the aftermath of a tragedy in Arima where three children and a 19-year-old lost their lives in a massacre that also left five others injured, the students of San Fernando Girls Government School took the lead in a march for peace through the streets of San Fernando.
Braving inclement weather, the students and their parents unfurled their umbrellas and trekked down Cipero Street, along Blanche Fraser Street, eventually returning to their school compound on Rushworth Street, San Fernando. The event was opened by San Fernando Mayor Robert Parris.
Speaking with Guardian Media afterwards, Mayor Parris expressed his deep concerns about the safety of children amidst escalating crime and violence. Mayor Parris lauded the San Fernando students for choosing peace as their theme saying, "It was an honour and privilege to open this event. It's a worthy cause when young children can stand up for something as worthy as peace. We need peace. We live in a violent society, and I congratulate the teachers and parents for supporting the girls in their call for peace."
Meanwhile, Avion Crooks, the school's Head of Department, echoed the pressing need for peace during these turbulent times. "There is a lot of crime, a lot of confusion, but we know we can be part of the solution. That's why we walk for peace," Crooks said. She revealed that the school has been encouraging its students to follow the path of patriotism and good citizenship. "Once they understand what it means to be a good citizen, to be kind, to love your neighbours, and to tolerate differences, we can be part of the change," she said.