St. Mary Fair Focusses on Children and Environment


The relationship between environmental preservation and the nation’s obligation to its children, was the main focus of an information fair and mini exhibition, sponsored by the National Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention, at the Port Maria Primary School, St. Mary on Wednesday (June 10).
The fair was held in response to several letters sent to Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, earlier this year, by three students, two of whom attend the Port Maria Primary School. The letters raised concerns about the physical condition of the school compound, and the abuses experienced by the students.
It was held under the theme, “Preserve the Environment – Protect our Children.”
The function featured both children’s and adults’ forums in which presentations, relevant to the theme, were made by representatives of a number of agencies, including the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), the Social Development Commission (SDC), the Office of the Children’s Advocate, the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Coalition for Better Parenting.
Among the declarations coming out of the discussions, was the need for the Child Development Agency (CDA) to work closely with the fathers’ support group in St. Mary, to encourage fathers to be more responsible parents, as well as the necessity for the development of strong collaboration between the SDC and the CDA in conducting the children peer counselling programme in the parish.
The function was officially declared open by Councillor Dave Morrison, deputising for His Worship the Mayor of Port Maria, Counsellor Richard Creary. Greetings were brought by Dr. Morais Guy, Member of Parliament for Central St. Mary.
Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Miss Allison Anderson, Janet Cupidon Quallo, Child Protection Specialist with UNICEF and Alecia Ann McKenzie, St. Mary Festival Queen 2009, also participated.

JIS Social