JIS News

A mini expo was staged today (May 27), by the Southern Region of the Child Development Agency (CDA), comprising Clarendon, Manchester and
St. Elizabeth, to provide information on how to access services that are geared toward the growth and development of children, and planning for parenthood.
The expo, which was held at the Ridgemount United Church Hall, in Mandeville, Manchester, was held under the theme: ‘All I Want is a Chance to Grow’, and was staged as part of Child Month activities.
Team Leader for the CDA Clarendon office, Francine Rhoomes, told JIS News that the aim of the mini expo was to expose persons to information on how to care for children.
“We want to educate persons about what they can access for children and where they can go in terms of planning and parenting children,” she said.
She pointed out that the main highlight of the expo was the ‘Bashy Bus’, a mobile bus geared towards educating and sensitising young persons on sexuality and sexual behaviours.
Miss Rhoomes said she was delighted at the excellent support and participation at the expo. “We are really overwhelmed at the turnout that we have received. We have several schools from Manchester, St. Elizabeth and Clarendon. Next year we might have to look at a bigger venue,” she said.
Meanwhile, Community Relations Officer at the Ministry of Education, Region Five Office, Charmaine Gooden-Monteith, urged parents and guardians not to abuse the children.
“I say to parents, no physical abuse, no ill treatment, no emotional abuse, no sexual abuse, no physical neglect, no trafficking of children, no selling of children and no child labour. These will not be tolerated around here or anywhere in Jamaica. If you do, the CDA will come and get you and you will feel the long arm of the law,” she emphasised.
Mrs. Gooden-Monteith told the parents that it was their responsibility to ensure that the children are protected from undesirable influences, such as unsuitable television programmes. “We have to be sure that we set the right foundation for them,” she implored.
She also urged parents to encourage their children to read, and told the children that they should embrace reading as part of their development.

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