JIS: Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says the Ministry is to launch a national campaign – ‘Our Children Jamaica’ – in May, to underscore the Government’s commitment to the protection of children.
“There is no doubt that for the Government, children are our number one priority. So for Child Month (May), we will be outlining a number of programmes and initiatives which will aim to coalesce our partners, such as the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), the Child Development Agency (CDA) and the Office of the Children Registry (OCR), around that central concept that our children, health, education, parenting and protection are important,” he said.
The Minister of State Green was addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on Wednesday, April 27.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Rosalee Gage-Grey, who also addressed the ‘Think Tank’, said the CDA will work with the NCMC to spearhead other activities for Child Month, which are scheduled to start on Sunday, May 1 with a Church Service at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, Braeton Parkway, in Portmore.
Mrs. Gage-Grey pointed out that the main focus of the CDA for the month will be the over 50 residential child care facilities.
“During the Month we will launch ‘CDA Cares’ initiative, which is a voluntary corps, where we will solicit the general public to apply, register and get certified as a volunteer to provide their time and talent in these residential care facilities, for example, a doctor or a counsellor,” she said.
There is also the ‘Mission to Motivate’ initiative, where former wards of the State and artistes will be invited to go into the facilities and give motivational talks during the month.
On Read Across Jamaica Day, May 3, the CDA’s Executive Management team along with other staff will read to children in State care. Other events include Sports Day; and the revitalization of the vegetable gardens at the facilities.
The OCR, under the leadership of the Mr. Greig Smith, will also undertake activities for the month. These include a ‘Break the Silence’ photographic competition, which is open to children 9 to 17 years old. Entries should depict photographic interpretations of neglect, child labour and child trafficking.
The OCR will also lead a team for Read Across Jamaica Day activities at the Webster Memorial Basic School. On May 13, the OCR will join with the NCMC in Children’s Day activities in Half-Way Tree; Parade, Downtown, Kingston and the Spanish Town bus terminus. Members of the public are asked to wear bright yellow on May 13 in celebration of Children’s Day.
May 25 will be observed as International Day for Missing Children. The OCR will join the rest of the world in observing the day. Ananda Alert Day will be observed at the Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School on May 27.
Child Month 2016 will be observed under the theme: ‘Healthy Children Build a Stronger Nation’.
CAPTION: State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on April 27.