JIS News

State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, is appealing to Jamaicans to recommit their energies, talents and intellectual abilities towards protecting children.

The State Minister was addressing the virtual launch of Child Month, today (April 13).

Child Month 2021 will be observed in May under the theme ‘I Strive to Overcome Adversities with Resilience (ISOAR)’.

While commending the various child-related institutions for the work they have been doing to build awareness in the society about the importance of children and how to protect their rights, Mr. Morgan said “the sum of all our work is not enough, as we are yet to turn the corner on one of the most challenging issues that we face, and that is the issue of violence against our children”.

“This is not just related to corporal punishment, which the Government and well-thinking Jamaicans continue to condemn and want to see banned nationally and removed from our culture, but there is also the issue of sexual violence against our children,” he added.

The State Minister pointed out that successive governments have done a lot of work over the years looking at the reports of violence against children and seeking to create a framework to protect them.

He encouraged Jamaicans to report incidents of child abuse because there can be no arrest of perpetrators without a report and no consequence without evidence.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and in keeping with the Disaster Risk Management Protocol, activities for Child Month have been significantly curtailed.

The National Child Month Committee (NCMC) will host virtual events during May, starting with the National Church Service on Sunday, May 2.  This will be held at the Linstead Pentecostal Tabernacle, 24 Gillette Street, Linstead, in St. Catherine.

This will be followed by the observation of National Children’s Day on Friday, May 21.  Children six to 17 years old will have the opportunity to give their best interpretation of the Child Month theme in song, dance, poetry or the playing of a musical instrument. These will be showcased on the Day on various social media platforms.

Adults are also being encouraged to use the day to treat the children, boost their spirits, give tangible gifts, reaffirm their worth and help them to soar.

Child Month celebrations will culminate with a Day of Prayer on Wednesday, May 26. Churches across the island will use the day to pray for the nation’s children.

Sponsors for Child Month 2021 activities are GraceKennedy Limited; National Baking Company Foundation; Joan Duncan Foundation; Sagicor Foundation; and Caribbean Broilers.

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