Fil-Canadian neighborhood watch also gives psychological first-aid
GARDEN CITY, Manitoba – After a 16-year-old Filipino girl in 2017 was threatened at her door by two men with machetes, the Filipino community came together to set up 204 Neighbourhood Watch (204NW).
“We wanted to plan something to increase safety,” founder Leila Castro told CHVNRadio.com. “We talked about it and we said, ‘We need a better home for our children and for every family in Winnipeg and Manitoba regardless of if they were Filipino or not.'”
The group began weekly neighborhood patrols.
Then, on December 9, 2019, the Crown Attorney’s Office asked the group to render psychological first-aid to the family of a Filipino man who was murdered during a robbery at a railroad track.
Neighborhood watch members soon realized that the robbery-murder traumatized many families other than the victim’s. Seven members from the watch group received training in psychological first-aid over a two-weekend session.
Castro said psychological first-aid to those traumatized by incidents or reports of crime is now the watch group’s most used service. She hopes to get more psychological first-aid volunteers in order “to be there for the most vulnerable.”
Along with weekly patrols and psychological first-aid, 204NW hosts community events and volunteer at different organizations across Manitoba.