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Several activities have been planned to celebrate the island’s children during National Child Month (May), which was officially launched on April 25, at the GraceKennedy offices, downtown Kingston.

The National Child Month Committee (NCMC) will kick off activities with a National Church Service on Sunday, May 6, at the St. James Anglican Church, Annotto Bay, in St. Mary. 

Churches islandwide are being asked to celebrate the day, by making their services child-focused and allowing children to participate in the services.

National Action Day will be observed on May 11, with the main activity to be undertaken in the parish of Hanover. Other activities to mark the month will include the National Children Day, scheduled for May 18.

 The awards ceremony for the popular poster and essay competitions will be held on May 31. On June 30, a mini children/family expo will be held at the Holy Childhood High School, Half-Way Tree Road, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Several events  are also slated for the month of November, including a youth forum to be held at  the St. Andrew Parish Church Hall, 16 Ellesmere Road, in Kingston.

On November 10, a Parenting Workshop will be held at Vouch Limited, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  The final activity for 2012 will be a children’s treat on November 29 at Hope Gardens and Zoo, when children from  various inner city communities and children’s homes will be treated.

The activities will be held under the theme: ‘Jamaica 50: Let’s Celebrate Our Children’.

Speaking at the launch, Chairperson of the NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings, said the rationale for the theme is to ensure that as Jamaica’s 50th year is celebrated, the nation’s children will not be forgotten, but will be deemed as an integral part of the nation’s success.

For his part, Patron of Child Month, Executive Chairman of GraceKennedy Limited, Douglas Orane, said the future belongs to the nation’s children. 

“You are our heritage, you are our special gift and that is why we are actually here for you, because you are going to be leading your country one day,” he told children in the audience.    

Child Month was first celebrated in May, 1953, under the patronage of Lady Foote, wife of the then Governor.

Some of the major objectives of the NCMC are: to heighten public awareness of the many issues and challenges  negatively affecting the development of children and of steps that can be taken to address some of the issues and effectively meet the challenges; and to mobilise resources and facilitate action to support children-focused programmes.

                                                           

By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter