Working together for peace and harmony
Despite its economic challenges, the community of Haddo in Westmoreland has one enviable feature. Unlike many communities in western Jamaica, it is enjoying sustained peace and tranquillity because its residents believe unity is strength.
In fact, the residents, who see much value in living in peace and harmony, take pride in the fact that the community has not had a single serious crime in many years.
"We can't complain about shootings, break-ins and robberies. We have not had any such incidents in years," a woman proudly told the WESTERN STAR. "The young people and the elderly relate to each other with respect. It is how you talk to people and deal with them that is important. We try not to disrespect each other."
Rochelle McGregor-Smith, principal of Haddo Primary and Infant School, says the community has not had to put in place any special community crime-prevention programmes and strategies to deal with crime, because there is no need for it.
"Word gets around easy in Hadoo, so I don't think a crime perpetrator would feel comfortable in this community. and if you are coming from outside, although it is a small area, you would meet upon trouble yourself because if there is a need, the people will readily band together," explained McGregor-Smith.
As for her school, McGregor-Smith said it has been operating without proper security for years, thanks to the crime-free nature of the community.
"For instance, we got some water tanks the other day and the donors were really concerned about whether or not we were going to lose them," said McGregor-Smith. "I had to convince them that if we were to lose them, then it would have to be from outsiders. The community people really own this school."