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Parents and guardians are being encouraged to show children love and care during the entire month of May, being observed as Child Month.

Chairperson, National Child Month Committee (NCMC), Dr. Pauline Mullings said the Committee has created a May calendar (May 1-31) with 31 ways in which citizens can show the nation’s children that “we care”.

She was speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on April 24, at which she outlined Child Month activities being planned by the NCMC.

Dr. Mullings said that each day in May, parents and caregivers would be encouraged to do something to indicate their love for children.

“We are asking you to join with us, when the media announce it, when you see it in the newspaper, to do what we ask you to do,” she said, noting that every child in Jamaica deserves to receive some positive action from an adult during Child Month.

Some of the 31 actions on the calendar indicating what parents and guardians could do are: ‘Ask them (children) about themselves’, ‘Discuss their dreams,’ ‘Ask them how they feel’, ‘Tell them a story’, ‘Play outside with them’, ‘Cook dinner together’, ‘Pray with them’, ‘Tolerate their interruptions’ and ‘Empower them to help themselves’.

[Download “31 Ways to Show Our Children We Care” Calendar]

The Chairperson urged the media to participate in the campaign by highlighting the actions for each day. She informed that the first activity beginning on May 1, will call on parents to tell their children that they love them.

“On that day, we expect the media to be blaring it everywhere, reminding the adults to tell the children that they love them,” she added.

Dr. Mullings said on Sunday, May 5, parents will be urged to “go to church with your child,” while on May 10 and 17, they will be asked to “help a child other than your own” and to “treat your child”, respectively.

Meanwhile, she called on citizens to support the work of the NCMC.

“We are voluntary workers and we can’t do it without the help of our private sector organisations and other institutions, to assist us with funding,” she said.

She expressed appreciation to the main sponsor, GraceKennedy Limited, which has been the main sponsor of the NCMC for over 30 years. She also thanked the other sponsors, including LIME, Continental Baking Company Limited, the Gleaner Company Limited, Jamaica Producers Limited and Jamaica Broilers Group of Companies.

Meanwhile, Chairman of GraceKennedy and patron of the NCMC, Douglas Orane, who spoke at the ‘Think Tank’, said he is happy to support activities aimed at improving the lives of children, while noting that “our children are our future”.

He said that his achievements in life were due to the support from persons who helped to empower him during his childhood.

“My parents, my school, the community, my church, the community movement for young people, and as a result of that, I have been able to do the best I could in my adult life. It is now my turn to give back,” he said.

Mr. Orane said that Jamaicans should not only take care of their own children, but should also be concerned about the lives of other children.

Child Month is being observed under the theme: ‘Children’s Care and Protection: A Fi Wi Mission’.

E. Hartman Reckord, JIS Reporter