Monday, Jul 13, 2020
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Know your neighbor

Dear Editor,

As the MP for Killarney, I had a vision of working for the people, a vision of people working with people.  This vision has come to fruition.  We decided as a community to partner together with government and each other to transform our homes and families, improve our environment, and meet the needs of the less fortunate amongst us.  Killarnians embraced these concepts through our various community programs.  Killarney Kares, Klick with Killarney and Konnect with Killarney were successful catalyst community programs launched throughout the years.

Killarney now wants to introduce you to our KYN Program.  Knowing Your Neighbor means that you know their needs, their wants and what it takes to meet the desired results.  We also understand what the government can do, what we can do for ourselves, and finally what we can do for others.

When one examines this concept, it is not a new one.  From the medical industry, you must know your status to prevent illnesses and outbreaks.  In the banking industry, you should know your customer to prevent fraud and illegal transactions.  Each Member of Parliament is a leader within the community represented; we must show leadership qualities by working to consolidate those communities through the facilitation of neighborhood associations.

Our goal is to celebrate the family and to strengthen our communities through social, civic, spiritual and physical initiatives.  Wholeness is our focus – making a difference, moment by moment, event by event, one life at a time.

Making a difference involves sacrifice.  Richard Whately states, “A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own work, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.”  As a community, we will need to sacrifice our time, finances, our skills and ideas.  When we pool our resources, many benefit.  Jesus’ miracle of feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fish was done to teach us an important lesson: A small sacrifice can yield much, when faithfully given and properly allocated.

Volunteerism is the vehicle by which we give of our time and skills to serve others.  Our government in recognition of such has called us as a nation to volunteer.  Although every community has universal needs, each has its unique needs.  By knowing your neighbor, it enables you to know the needs of the elderly, our children, the sick, the hungry, and all that are disenfranchised.  Such awareness ought to motivate us to respond.

What are proper responses?  Mentoring, particularly male mentoring, tutoring, carpooling, community clean-ups, community gardening, assisting the elderly (grocery or medicine pick-up), and home repairs are just some examples of volunteering within our community.

Killarney was successful in passing the spirit of KYN to bridge the generations, through the introduction of our summer tutoring program.  Young students tutored kids in core subjects.  We look to expand and have retired teachers within our communities facilitate tutoring in their core competencies.    In addition to services and assistance, social interaction is vital as well.  Studies conducted at the University of Minnesota show that seniors who have regular conversations with their neighbors and depend on them, have much better odds of surviving strokes than those with less interaction.

Killarney is excited, enthusiastic and motivated to make a difference.  There are eight neighborhood associations in Killarney that work tirelessly to embrace the core principles previously mentioned, and we are excited that more associations are on the horizon.

Our challenge is to work together to maximize our individual contributions to improve our communities.  With imagination, innovation, sacrifice and commitment, we can make a difference.  So I challenge you today to Know Your Neighbor.

The Killarney constituency is pleased to extend our KYN program to Christmas caroling during the Yuletide Season and a Killarney Bowling Tournament for all our neighborhood associations.  Stay in touch with Killarney. The second article in this KYN series will further explain our associations and community programs, like crime watch, CCTV and how we are embracing the KYN program.  For a better, stronger, safer, healthier, and futuristic Bahamas, let us all begin KYN.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change,”  Author unknown.

Yours, etc.,

Dr. Hubert A. Minnis

Minister of Health

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