JIS: More than 1,000 children were treated to special tokens and snacks this morning (May 19) by members of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) and volunteers, in observance of National Children’s Day.
Some 250 volunteers from the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR), the Child Development Agency (CDA), the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) and the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) gathered in four major town centres – downtown Kingston; Papine, St. Andrew; Greater Portmore, St. Catherine; and Yallahs, St. Thomas, where they greeted children and spread the message of love and protection for the nation’s youth.
This was in keeping with the Child Month theme, ‘Take Action! Break the Chain of Abuse Against Children’.
State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, who joined the team at St. William Grant Park in Kingston, commended the NCMC and its partners for their commitment to the annual Children’s Day activity and pledged the Government’s support for its continued success.
He is encouraging members of the public to join the efforts of the NCMC and do their part to protect the nation’s children.
“Outside of the day, we need to do more. We all need to recognise that we have a job to do in protecting all our children. As adults, we have a responsibility to look out for every child and… if they are in danger, that we protect them,” Mr. Green said in an interview with JIS News.
“We want our children to grow up in an environment where they can become caring, confident and responsible adults, but they can’t do that if they are being taken advantage of, neglected or abused. Look around in your communities to see if children are getting the care they need, and if they are not, you need to do something about it,” he urged.
Chair of the NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings, said the theme seeks to encourage active participation by the public in protecting the nation’s youth.
“We realise that our children are faced today with numerous abuses, such as neglect; sexual, physical and emotional abuse; and issues such as human trafficking and missing children. We realise many persons are aware of these issues, but aren’t doing anything about it… and we want people to report abuses and get involved,” she said.
Dr. Mullings noted that the annual Children’s Day activity encourages members of the public to wear yellow to show support for children. She said the initiative, now in its fifth year, has gained traction.
“This year, we have noticed that there are more adults in yellow… . It is getting better in terms of support and public awareness. What we hope to achieve is for adults to show more care and love, not just for their children but also for every child, because every child is important,” she noted.
Grade-five student of the Kingsway Pre-Kindergarten and Preparatory School, Jordan Beek, expressed appreciation for the special attention by the NCMC.
“I want to see more organisations sending out their workers to go and find those children that are in need and help them… . I feel happy because they are doing something good for the children,” he said.
Children’s Day is celebrated on the third Friday of May each year. It is supported by 35 government and private-sector entities.
CAPTION: Chair of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), Dr. Pauline Mullings (left), hugs lower-sixth-form student of the Wolmer’s Girls’ School, Shakeema Evans, during the National Child Month Committee’s (NCMC) annual Children’s Day activity held on May 19 at St. William Grant Park, downtown Kingston.