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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The event, which is part of Youth Month activities, is being held in commemoration of World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse.
  • “We need persons to understand that it is not okay to abuse our children; it is not okay to neglect them; and it is not okay to treat them in a way that is not a part of our standard,”
  • Event sponsors include Digicel, Scotiabank, Jamaica Broilers and Tastee. Assistance has also been given by the National Commercial Bank, the Jamaica National Building Society, the Development Bank of Jamaica and EXIM Bank.

A prayer vigil and concert titled, ‘Bless the Children’, will be held at Mandela Park, Half-Way Tree, in Kingston, on Tuesday, November 19, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The event, which is part of Youth Month activities, is being held in commemoration of World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse. It is organised by the Child Development Agency, an arm of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

Among the speakers at the function will be Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna; Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites; Registrar of the Office of the Children’s Registry, Greig Smith and Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency, Rosalee Gage Grey.

Prior to the official function at 2:30 p.m. there will be an expo showcasing government, non-governmental and child-centred organisations. Exhibitors will include Office of the Children’s Registry, Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Jamaica Red Cross, National Council on Drug Abuse and the Registrar General’s Department and other stakeholders dealing with child protection.

Acting Chief Executive Officer  (CEO) of the Child Development Agency, Rosalee Gage Grey, told JIS News that the Day  is observed each year to foster awareness and encourage Jamaicans to redouble their efforts to protect the nation’s children.

“We need persons to understand that it is not okay to abuse our children; it is not okay to neglect them; and it is not okay to treat them in a way that is not a part of our standard,” she said.

Mrs. Gage Grey pointed out that the agency will be issuing a call for persons to take a stand against all forms of child abuse and to make a commitment to work with families to assist them in taking better care of their children.

“We want to offer some comfort and support to those families who have lost children violently and we are standing with them to say, no to child abuse,” she said.

The Acting CEO emphasised that it is crucial at this time to bring the nation’s attention to the issues affecting the children and “to recommit to doing all that is possible to safeguard them from all forms of abuse and violence.”

Event sponsors include Digicel, Scotiabank, Jamaica Broilers and Tastee. Assistance has also been given by the National Commercial Bank, the Jamaica National Building Society, the Development Bank of Jamaica and EXIM Bank.