Phillip Carlisle
Phillip Carlisle

An advocate for the vulnerable is urging Dominicans to play their part in creating a better society for those in need.

Pastor Phillip Carlisle who describes himself as someone whose "desires and goals are to do my best to positively impact the lives of many," has been involved in this type of work for over 30 years.

"I have a passion for the plight of marginalized persons and persons who otherwise are not able to effectively address issues related to their situations," Carlisle said.

He is an activist for gender issues, child protection, and eradicating domestic abuse. Carlisle works steadfastly behind the scenes bringing the necessary assistance to those who require it. While he does not go about looking for praise for his good deeds, he is hopeful his story will bring others to the fray and help champion the cause for social justice.

"My encouragement is for us, as a nation, to take stock to understand that at this stage of our development that there is a dire need for us to be guardians and even parents to children or individuals that are not biologically ours and help stem the flow of these unfortunate incidents and accidents that confront our nation," he said.

His passion for helping others is reflected in the many hats he has worn and continues to wear. His voluntary work over the years covers a multitude of groups and organizations. Currently, Carlisle is the President of CARIMAN Dominica Chapter, Chairman to CARIMAN's Regional body, and serves on the Global Men Engage Board; a global gender-based organization that has a feminist agenda. He clarifies that a feminist agenda "means issues of equity and equality."

The work for social justice does not stop there. This advocate is Chair of the National NGO Coalition where the objective is to address issues related to various abuses. He also serves on the National Gender Advisory Board

"There are quite a number of people who need help and the human resource is stretched," he said.

Carlisle pointed out that Dominica needs more people to help lessen the difficulties faced by various vulnerable groups in both tangible and non-tangible ways.

"There are many persons in our society who are passionate about addressing the issues. And the truth is there are so many issues of abuse," he said. "Some people would help with professionalism, qualification, experience, but sometimes, based on the nature of the situation, we sought to bring in other people who help us."

His passion for improving the lives of individuals is his driving force and he admits this labour of love has borne some reward.

"In 2016 there was the revision of the Domestic Violence Act. The Coalition played a significant role in that, in the editing and revision of the Act which was passed," he said. Apart from the revision of the Domestic Violence Act, he has also seen successful resolutions to situations faced by many families and other marginalized people.

Carlisle commends those who have come on board to help bring relief to the vulnerable around the country. He emphasized, however, that there is room for more individuals to get involved.

"There is a dire need for persons with experience and persons who are trained," Carlisle said. "Or, if they are unable to participate in alleviating the plight of those affected, can engage in sensitization or passing on the information to persons who are able. We do need quite a bit of persons to be involved."

Phillip Carlisle is of the firm belief that we are our brother's keeper and as such should play our part, no matter how big or small, in creating a more just society for all Dominicans.

"In my humble opinion, I would strongly appeal to our society, those who are able to assist, that they do not turn a blind eye to the conditions or situations that confront people," he said.