I’ve lived about 10 minutes from Cite Soleil for about 14 yrs of my life, yet due to the media, fear, and suspicious activity reported within this area, (or maybe just because I am classist prick) I never really frequented the area.
Yesterday as we commenced our day, my father randomly decided to set an appointment with a pastor he had been collaborating in the Cite Soleil area. Naturally, I had mixed feelings but anticipated the encounter none the less.
We drove into Cite Soleil where we met up with the Pastor and before I knew it the scenery which had previously been masked with plastic bottles and filth had been transformed. The neighborhood was spotless. Cleanest neighborhood I have seen to date. What I anticipated and what I saw were polar opposites. The kids were not angry and violent; they actually welcomed us with open arms. It almost seemed like the people stood a bit taller.
What we later learned was that the community with the stewardship of Pastor Hillaire , had decided that they would change their community. All the youth had recently laid down their weapons and personally took the initiative to make the neighborhood their own. By constant up keep and taking part of the many initiative within their community, example: basing the foundation for the school which digicel foundation plans to place within the area which seemed solidify the sense of community,served as way to continue to serve each other and their country. .