Mr. Speaker, as I rise to make this contribution to the sectoral debate
1. I give God thanks for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference
2. I want to thank you and the parliamentary staff for the work that has been done in organizing these presentations.
3. Thanks to my Prime Minister for affording me the opportunity to serve and my colleagues in Cabinet and in this house on both sides
4. My Ministry staff, headed by my Permanent Secretary Mrs. Sherrill O’Reggio Angus, my personal staff and the various agency heads and board chairmen and board members for their continued support, hard
work and dedication
5. My beloved South East (SE) St. Ann, and the representatives who are here today, headed by members of my constituency executive, Councilor Bell, office staff, group chairmen and delegates. SE St. Ann remains strong, and I am heartened by the unwavering support given to me by both the delegates and the constituents in spite of the efforts of a few. I just wish to place my love and undying support to the people who have placed me here for a second term. In the constituency debate in the House, I will speak about our projects and work Programmes.
6. Finally to Alex and Richard who understand my long hours of work.
Mr. Speaker, May is child month, a month where our nation pays tribute to our children the 809,000 persons under 18 that make up 29% of our population. At the Ministry of Youth and Culture, everyday for us is dedicated to our nation’s children. We have made significant strides in improving the State’s response to children under our care. But this is being overshadowed, by a cultural problem that we have had, and not spoken about for a number of years. I know that every well thinking person in this country has been sickened, horrified and deeply troubled by the alarming, and frequent reports of cases of abuse, rape, and
murder of the country’s most precious assets – our children. Each time, I get a new report from our Child Development Agency (CDA) or the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) I hurt to my very core because of the pain I know they feel.
Data suggests that this culture has developed because of a number of practices but none more glaring, than the breakdown in the family structure. I am calling on all Jamaicans, particularly the church, teachers, and communities to pay special attention to our children’s need for guidance, mentorship, and protection. We have to move away from the concept that “a nuh my pickney…” and return to “a my pickney…”
At the Ministry of Youth and Culture we are proud of the work of our children boards, child agencies and specifically our children themselves…READ MORE