JIS News

Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA), Dr. Elizabeth Ward, has said Jamaica must invest in its children to ensure a peaceful and prosperous country.
“It is how we invest in our children that will determine the level of peace we have in our’s how you invest in your children for prosperity at all levels.and where you can have the biggest impact is with little children before the age of seven,” she stated.
Dr. Ward, who was speaking at the weekly JIS Think Tank on January 23 at the agency’s head office on Half-Way-Tree Road, said that the process of investing in children will require a change in parenting style. “You can discipline a child without beating it into them or out of them. It just gets to physical abuse,” she said.
She noted that while there is no manual on how to be a parent, it is important that the roles of the father and mother be established within the home, especially that of the father. “Encourage fathers to take responsibility, not just financial responsibility.
Sometimes, men don’t go home because they don’t have any money to give their children. They don’t realize that the sons don’t necessarily just want money from the fathers. they just want their mother and father to be there with them so they can have somebody to talk to at night,” she reasoned.
She further encouraged parents to try and improve the situation within the home by reading to children, spending time with them and taking them on little trips rather than “buying them a new cellular phone and ‘bling’ clothes.”
Pointing to the need to build resilience in children, and by extension, adults, Dr. Ward said that this will lead to a sense of hope, which is what the Peace March, planned as part of activities to mark Peace Month from February 6 to March 4, symbolizes.
“It’s very simple, if you have a vision and that sense of hope.. all you really need to make something of yourself is that somebody believes in you [and] you believe in yourself,” she said.
The Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA), a non-governmental organization, is spearheading activities for Peace Month. The annual Peace March, slated for March 4, will be held under the theme: ‘Peace for Prosperity’, which sends a strong message to all Jamaicans to invest in children for a prosperous country.
The aim of this year’s march is not only to heighten awareness about peace, but also to stimulate discussions on parenting and the best methods to correct children without using violence. The VPA is also encouraging community groups, churches and corporate Jamaica to initiate community programmes that are designed to bring about peace.

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