JIS News

As part of the increased focus on children in need for Workers’ Week and Labour Day 2010, Jamaicans are being encouraged to show they care by supporting the Ananda Alert programme.
State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, has therefore asked citizens to join the initiative by texting the word “YES” to 444-4230 (LIME) or 444-2432 (Digicel).
He made the call today (April 29), during the launch of this year’s Workers’ Week and Labour Day activities, at the Half-Way Tree Transportation Centre, in Kingston.
Worker’s Week 2010, which begins on May 16, will culminate with Labour Day on Monday, May 24, under the theme: ‘Our Children…Show Them We Care’.
“The Department of Local Government and the Children’s Advocate and a number of other agencies, partnered in launching the Ananda Alert last year. This network is to pass on information to the general public when a child goes missing,” he said.
“We want to encourage persons to get on to the network, because if your child goes missing you would want the whole world to come to a halt to help assist you. So, we are saying to people don’t wait until your child goes missing, get on to the network now,” the State Minister urged.
Organisers of Workers’ Week and Labour Day 2010 are hoping to get 100,000 persons to join the Ananda Alert system.
Ananda Alert is a nationwide system designed to ensure a speedy and safe recovery of a child in the unfortunate event that he or she is abducted or kidnapped.
The system involves the mobilisation of stakeholders into getting the message of a missing child into the public domain, the moment the matter is reported to the police.
Mr. Montague further endorsed this year’s focus on children for Workers’ Week and Labour Day.
“Indeed, the focus on children should not be on Labour Day only, as we have our children with us constantly and day by day our children are at risk, as every day you hear about our children being abducted or abused,” he said.
“I would like to make a call for Labour Day this year, that for those mothers and fathers who have abandoned their children throughout the year, to take Labour Day and spend some time with their children and then make it a habit for the rest of the year,” Mr. Montague added.
He also encouraged parents to take their children to visit other children in orphanages and children’s homes, so they can have an appreciation for the way in which many others are living.
Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Michael Henry, also announced that as of July 1, the photographs of all missing children will be posted in Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses that ply the Kingston Metropolitan Region (KMR).
He said the spotlight being placed on children for this year’s Labour Day was quite timely, especially against the backdrop of the Armadale tragedy, in which seven children in State care died in a fire last year.
The Minster said in addition to the usual physical work of upgrading and repairing infrastructure or facilities that relate to the development and welfare of children, there will also be a focus on identifying activities geared towards the mental and social development of the nation’s children through mentoring, teaching and other forms of intervention.

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