JIS News

Children’s Advocate, Mary Clarke, has called for greater public and private sector partnership to address the needs of the disabled in the society, especially children.
“We don’t have to always go to the Ministry for everything as there are enough local partners,” she stated, appealing to government, civil society, the international development partners and community-based organizations, to come together to provide the necessary support.
Mrs. Clarke, who was addressing the opening ceremony for National Action Day at the 3D Project office in St. Thomas on May 18, pointed to the need for greater public education, advocacy, research and programmes aimed at changing attitudes and behaviours towards persons with disabilities, in addition to providing scholarships to support training needs.
“We need human resources to help these children,” she said further, noting that there is great need for more persons to interact with these children.
The Children’s Advocate also called on Jamaicans to become more aware of the needs of the disabled. “How many of us are sensitised enough about how to relate to the disabled?” she asked, stating that “oftentimes, we do approach and communicate with them incorrectly and inappropriately.”
Launched last year, National Action Day is the equivalent of Labour Day for children. On the day, young people across the island are invited to take on a meaningful project. This year’s national project was putting in a ramp at the 3Ds Project office in Morant Bay, to provide wheelchair access to the facility.
The non governmental organisation is dedicated to the development of persons with disabilities and it is a place where they can access medical treatment among other services such as skills training.
Also on the day, the Junior Optimist Club of Independence City, St. Catherine visited a senior citizens’ home; the Bridgeport Infant School donated all the proceeds of their harvest to the Caprice Senior Citizens’ Home and visited an 84-year old shut-in; while students at the Montego Bay Learning Centre in St. James visited two senior citizens’ homes, bearing gifts.

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