The Nevisian, was in attendance at the launch of the bank’s 2011 programme on 31st May, 2011 and while fielding questions from the media, she said sometimes people are oblivious to the struggles of others underscored the importance of community members being their neighbour’s keeper.
“…You would be surprised to know that some persons you talk with – and you think that they are well-off – and when they talk to you, and you get to the bottom of it, they are struggling. One lady called me one day and she said my daughter had a scholarship, she is genuine and she did not know that she had to do this and she did not know she would have had to do that. I said well I didn’t think that this person is struggling. I thought this person was well-off and was able to pay all her bills… So I think that we need to create an awareness in our community that there are people who are struggling and they need help.
“Sometimes they pass along the street, they are well-dressed, well-attired, but we don’t know they need until we really talk to them. So, we need to create an awareness in our community that they are people who are in need and would need help.”
She suggested however, that creating awareness would be more effective if approached at the community level.
“In our community…we can get together, visit various youth groups…and find out what we can do to help people who seem to be struggling…As I said at the awards ceremony, sometimes we feel that when people behave odd that we should cast them out, have nothing to do with them instead of calling them together and studying them and find out what really is their problem.
“So I think that we need to take a closer look at our community and find out what is really and truly happening. Are these children who are school drop-outs really drop-outs or there is another underlying problem? Those who are in the gang members, or there is another underlying problem? How is it in their home situation? How is it in their community…? Why don’t they do to church? Why don’t they attend school regularly? Why do they come late? Do they have breakfast? Do they get lunch? So I think we need to look more closely at people…and you would find how you can help.”
Liburd – who taught for 41years up until 1993 when she retired – continues to find ways to give back to her community and continues to extend a hand to the young generation. The Joycelyn Liburd Primary School, formally the Gingerland Primary School, was named in her honour on 9th October, 2008.