- Hundreds of business operators, workers, residents and students of Lionel Town, Clarendon, protested against crime and other social challenges facing the parish at a march throughout the town last Friday, January 30.
- The event was organised by the Clarendon Youth and Child Protection Committee (CYCPC).
- Data garnered in the crafting of the Clarendon Local Sustainable Development Plan is showing an upsurge in teenage pregnancy as well as criminal behaviour in schools.
Hundreds of business operators, workers, residents and students of Lionel Town, Clarendon, protested against crime and other social challenges facing the parish at a march throughout the town last Friday, January 30.
The event was organised by the Clarendon Youth and Child Protection Committee (CYCPC).
Data garnered in the crafting of the Clarendon Local Sustainable Development Plan is showing an upsurge in teenage pregnancy as well as criminal behaviour in schools.
Chairperson for the CYCPC, Melbourine McPherson, said that the march was to draw attention to the issues and also voice the group’s condemnation.
“The data shows that there is an increasing number of gangs in our schools. This committee is made up mainly of young people and we want to say as young people that we are against criminal activities and teenage pregnancy,” she said.
“We sometimes think that persons understand what is happening and we also assume that they know what to do, not realising that they sometimes do not. Society does not provide good role models for our children; we have some dysfunctional families and we must address these issues,” she contended.
The day’s activities were guided by the theme: ‘Put Eh Dung, No…Yuh Nuh Ready’.
“We believe this theme encapsulates all that we want to say. ‘Put Eh Dung’ is addressing crime and violence, the guns, drugs. ‘No…Yuh Nuh Ready’, we are talking about teenage pregnancy. We have young people thinking that they are ready to become parents when in reality some of them do not have parents to emulate,” she lamented.
The march started at Watsonton Primary, and travelled through Lionel Town before ending at the Paisley Community Centre.
Miss McPherson expressed gratitude to the supporters of the march including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Child Development Agency (CDA), Custos of Clarendon, William Shagoury; the Clarendon Parish Development Committee Benevolent Society, the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, and Men With a Message.
Miss McPherson also thanked the students and the residents for coming out in their numbers.
Meanwhile, Lionel Town resident, Nordia Brown, told JIS News that her hope is for more persons to have an “eye opening experience” regarding what is happening in Clarendon.
“More people need to…recognise the seriousness of crime and teenage pregnancy. Even once per week, we hear of how children are affected by crime. I believe this march will help persons to see that this is not right and that they need to speak out against these issues affecting young people,” she said.
Head Boy of Alley Primary and Junior High School, Adrian Mundle, who also participated in the march, is encouraging students to abstain from sexual activities as well as drugs and violence.
“Jamaica is the most beautiful country in the whole world, and violence and beauty do not mix,” he said.
The CYCPC, through this and other initiatives, positively contributes to Vision 2030, which aims to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business.
Next on the committee’s agenda is the Clarendon Children’s Conference (Triple C), to be held in May.