KINGSTON – Members of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) have been urged to rededicate their efforts toward helping children, especially those who have had traumatic experiences, by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GraceKennedy Limited, Hon. Douglas Orane.
“What I would like for this child month is that we dedicate ourselves to those young people, not only those who are moving ahead in life, but those who may have been touched by tragedy and need a helping hand, to help them to reach to adulthood in a wholesome way,” he added.
Mr. Orane and representatives of the NCMC and LIME Foundation were guests at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, which was held on March 29.
Discussions focused on sponsorship and up-coming events for Child Month, being observed in May under the theme: ‘Our World, Their Future, Our Responsibility’. Grace- Kennedy and LIME Foundation are the main sponsors of the NCMC.
Mr. Orane said that the recent murder of his executive assistant, Arlene Lym and her 73-year old mother, Dorothy Lym, has strengthened his determination to make Jamaica a better country.
“It has doubled my resolve to make Jamaica the kind of country that I would have liked my assistant, Arlene, to have lived in, if she had survived; but certainly, the kind of country that her daughter, Kelly will grow up in and become a wholesome adult,” he said.
He commended members of the NCMC for their devotion and determination as they continue the work of the Committee. “It’s really a catalyst that encourages everyone who loves our children to do the best they can,” he added.
The CEO also urged parents and caregivers to find a way to encourage children to adopt good values, so that on their own, they can act in a caring and thoughtful way.
He recounted how the daughter of his slain assistant wanted to go to school, hours after learning of the death of her mother and grandmother. Subsequently, he said the headmistress provided counselling for her at school and allowed six of her classmates to accompany her to her home. Mr. Orane said that she was no longer crying when he visited her later that evening, since her friends had cheered her up.
“To me, that is the epitome of what our children (should be) and what we want to achieve from Child Month, which is to find a way to create the values in our children, so on their own, they act in a caring and thoughtful way,” he said.
Reflecting on a religious thought sent to him by a friend, which read, “God did not gave us children, he only rented them to us for 18 years ,” Mr. Orane urged parents to give leadership and guidance to their children, noting that they only have a short period of time to guide them before they become adults.
By E. Hartman Reckord,