One Person for Many People

Published: Friday, 25 September 2015 Written by Catrina Smith

When I was eight years old I told my mother that I was going to change the world. She stopped mixing the cookie dough which sat in the solid glass bowl on the counter and looked up at me. "How do you suppose you're going to do that?" she asked. I pressed the red cookie cutter into the dough and shrugged before saying, "I don't know I just will".
 
It took me eight years, 3,146 kilometers, and an innumerable amount of people, but I do believe I have finally discovered how exactly I will change the world. If you had asked me a mere two years ago what I wanted to do when I 'grew up', I would have told you I wanted to become a veterinarian. Never in my lifetime would I have purposed representing and fighting for the rights of thousands of people on a small Commonwealth island in the Caribbean. However, that was before I was made aware of what the 'real world' was all about.
 
I grew up in the suburbs of the Boston area in the United States of America. I had never once travelled outside of America to any other country other than that of the Commonwealth of Dominica, (my current home), and the island of St. Lucia which, at one point, was a major contender for a new dwelling. I grew up in a white dominated racial area where nearly all citizens were from the Christian denomination. I had never known anything other than what I was exposed to as a child. That is, up until the time at which I left the United States two years ago. I had no knowledge of racism, religious warfare, territorial battles, or even lack of health care in many countries around the world. Of course, they were constantly featured on the 6:00 news every night during my childhood, but they were irrelevant to me and in no way altered my life. However, as I soon would find out they did. These and many other current national and international events would soon shape me to become a person that I never would have expected. They would motivate and encourage me to become a United Nations representative for the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Caribbean people as a whole. The events which go unnoticed and ignored in some countries, would give me the drive to make a valuable impact on the Caribbean and the world.
 
According to the United Nations Population Fund publication, "2013 State of the World Population: Motherhood in Childhood", ninety-five percent of the world's births due to adolescents occur in developing countries, developing countries such Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which according to news site, Caribbean 360, have the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the Caribbean. With these reoccurring pregnancies, girls often refrain from returning back to school. This not only affects the mothers' health and emotional state and causes exhaustion, delay of education, and trouble with finances, it also affects the baby. The child may be neglected and may have emotional or health complications growing up. Most notably, when a young girl becomes pregnant, that may drop out of school. According to a report conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, "one third of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cite early pregnancy or parenthood as key…. It is estimated that over the course of their lifetime a high school drop-out costs the nation's economy approximately $260,000 in lost earnings and taxes".
            
I believe in greater representation for the small islands of the Commonwealth, because all British Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean except for the Bahamas condenm same sex relationships with the legal penalty of up to ten years imprisonment in some countries. Though, same sex relationships are widely debated on a world level, illegalizing same sex relationships in the Caribbean not only jeopardizes the citizens of these countries in the form of lack of identity, one of the very reasons for the abolition of slavery, but it will also jeopardize these countries economic growth as well as worldwide standing in the aspect of tourism. For example, the Dutch island of Saba, who hosted its first legal gay wedding in 2012, has since seen a drastic boom in tourism income.
 
I believe in the representation of the thousands of Caribbean people of all ages because every day students like myself are being bullied in class. Every day children are experiencing the pain of coming to school only to be picked on, pressured, and made fun of. According to Oxforddictionaries.com, bullying can be defined as, "(using) superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone, typically to force them to do something". Stopbullying.gov states, "Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues". The article continues to say, "Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience health complaints, decreased academic achievement, have depression, and experience other mental health disorders". Additionally, we must recognize the position of the children who are bullying their peers. The site continues to explain that, "Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood. Kids who are bully are more likely to abuse alcohol or other drugs in adolescence and as adults, get into fights, vandalize property, drop out of school, engage in early sexual activity, have criminal convictions, and be abusive toward their romantic partners, or children as adults". Dominica as country is already working towards sustaining a national anti-bullying campaign. Although, there has been the establishment of programs at school, our country does not have the financial backing, nor the status to start and spread such a large campaign that not only he lives of our island's citizens, but also the Caribbean and the rest of the twelve Commonwealth islands.
 
I believe in representation for these Commonwealth islands because they lack detrimental health care. If presented with a higher standard for health care in the Caribbean, our countries would be able to expand life expectancy diseases and even introduce the option of health tourism which can be described as, "tourist travel for the purpose of receiving medical treatment." This could be an incredible opportunity for Dominica. However, first we must focus on improving the health care which already exists. For example, though our country has the ability to detect cancer, one of the highest killers around the world presently, we do not possess the medical technology and resources to treat cancer in Dominica. Thus, local doctors recommend patients to travel abroad for treatment. Continually, Dominica must establish a higher standard in both hospitality and sanitary sanctions of our medical health care. Dominica News Online recently reported about the bed bug infestation in the local Princess Margaret Hospital. In the view of some Politian, the issue was "sensationalized" and compared to previous infestations of the hospital. "He noted that PMH has 'made its time' and there have been issues with other wards, such as the roof of the Dawbiney Ward which was infested earlier this year, (2015), by pigeons. He stated this resulted in the presence of the "chicken mite". The Politian then continued to say, "…With the plans for the new hospital we had to determine to replace the roof to the tune of almost $400,000 while the new hospital will soon be built'." Though this political leader's reasoning is respected and wise, the 'new hospital' which he acclaims will be built soon, was originally purposed in election speeches, to begin construction in early 2015. We will be in May of the same year in just three days' time. I, as well as many other citizens can report that no construction has started at PMH, the site of the new hospital. This also concerns citizens because many do not know where they will turn if health care is unavailable whilst the new hospital is being constructed.
 
By the end of my lifetime I want to look at my country and be proud. By the end of my lifetime I want to have achieved greatness not for myself, but for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica and also for those across the Caribbean territory. By the end of my lifetime I hope that I will have altered the above imposing issues acting on my country, plus many others. By the end of my life-time I wish to be a profound United Nations representative that brings success and status to Dominica instead of false hope and lies to her citizens. I believe that by the end of my lifetime, I will have indeed changed the world.

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