Connecting local responses around the world
The staycation has since become an important milestone/reference point for this neighbourhood who now has a group of residents who regard themselves as the Caring Community who looks after the children in their neighbourhood. The Caring Community tell us that their neighbourhood has changed as the children have responded their guidance. They observed that the children greet the adults and contact them when they have disagreements among themselves or with some neighbours. As such, many potentially problematic issues are de-escalated are nip in the bud.
This group of residents also advocate strongly for the children. During a year-end celebration, they recommended one of the children for the neighbourhood’s Outstanding Youth Award presented by the Member of Parliament. The organisers protested as they felt that this boy was not deserving of the nomination as he had a bad track record. However, the Caring Community persisted and challenged the Committee to point out one reason why the boy should not be nominated. The organisers could not as the boy was on his best behaviour the past year and played a big part in encouraging his friends to attend school and to stay out of trouble.
On the whole, the children are no longer deemed to be problematic by their neighbours. One important reason is that they have developed a relationship with the adults and this enables everyone to have a sense that issues or problems identified can be resolved amicably among neighbours.
Many services “medicalise” problems; make a diagnosis and offer a treatment. We have chosen to “humanise” problem and regard them as opportunities to rally people to build a social integrated society. A socially integrated society is not about getting people to change but getting people to be more accepting of each other and working toward a common good. “Humanising” a problem is about improving the quality of our lives by improving the quality of our relationships.