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JIS News

Chairman of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), Dr. Pauline Mullings is encouraging the public to invite the less fortunate into their homes this Christmas season to share in the festivities.
Speaking with JIS News, the Chairman said the season was one of giving and sharing and persons should take the opportunity to remember those less fortunate, especially children.
“Invite children and their parents to share a sumptuous Christmas dinner and have a wonderful time,” she said.
Her suggestions did not stop with dinner. She also urged parents to encourage their children to spread joy by sharing their toys and goodies with those in need.
For those not able to extend invitations for dinner, Dr. Mullings suggested that visits to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Places of Safety and Children’s Homes were “great” alternatives.
“When visiting these places, wash their [children’s] hair, comb it, donate a tree and maybe give gifts. The patients at Bustamante Hospital for Children especially, need cheer and comfort during the festive season,” she noted.
Christmas time, she said, could be a lonely time for many of the nation’s children. Adults, she added, had an important role to play in increasing the level of happiness during the season.
“It is important for adults to realise that they should take the time to create a happy environment so that children can truly enjoy the season,” she pointed out.
Other tips, she added, include taking your child’s friend to Christmas related activities, such as seeing Santa Claus and homes beautifully adorned with Christmas decorations. “Let the children see some life because sometimes these things will never happen without your intervention,” she explained.
“Remember to also take your own children out with you when doing your various activities. Spend time with them as the holiday is about sharing and giving,” the Chairman added.
Dr. Mullings also reminded adults to attend church with children to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. “Support the involvement of children in Sunday school programmes by attending. Your presence will certainly make a difference,” she said.
The first Child Month programme was organised in 1953 by the NCMC, which then comprised representatives from the Voluntary Organisation for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH) and Jamaica Save the Children Fund.The Committee has expanded since its inception, to include representatives of government and non-government institutions, working in the interest of the children of Jamaica.
The Committee is currently planning and organising activities for Child Month in May of next year.