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  • More than 230 students from 20 high schools across the island participated in the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) Youth Forum, held at the St. Andrew Parish Church, on November 7.
  • The forum is held annually as part of Youth Month activities and is geared to empower children by encouraging them to express their ideas about issues that affect them.
  • This year the focus of the forum was on the NCMC Child Month theme: ‘Parents take Responsibility: Break the Cycle’.

More than 230 students from 20 high schools across the island participated in the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) Youth Forum, held at the St. Andrew Parish Church, on November 7.

The forum is held annually as part of Youth Month activities and is geared to empower children by encouraging them to express their ideas about issues that affect them.

“This forum creates an environment for children to learn about their rights and responsibilities and how to overcome challenges that impede their success. It is an educational, high spirited and entertaining event, which all participating schools feel privileged to attend,” Chairperson of the NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings, told the students.

This year the focus of the forum was on the NCMC Child Month theme: ‘Parents take Responsibility: Break the Cycle’.

Director of Operations at the National Baking Company, Mr. Stephen Sykes, challenged the students to be the change that is going to break that cycle.

“I charge you to consider marriage and the planning of children before sex, because when you do not, then you will continue the cycle,” Mr. Sykes said.

Students from Trench Town High School did a presentation on: ‘Expectations of Parents from a Child Perspective’; Holy Childhood High School High focused on: ‘What Went Wrong, Why Adults are Failing’; Greater Portmore High School presented on: ‘What are the Possible Solutions’; while Holy Trinity High discussed the topic ‘Who are the Stakeholders? Which are the Most Important Groups’?

Conceptualised some 20 years ago, the Youth Forum was initially one of the activities organised by the NCMC for the annual celebrations for May, which is designated Child Month.

However, since 2006 the Youth Forum has become a cornerstone activity spearheaded by the NCMC in observance Youth Month, which is being observed in November. This initiative forms part of the thrust by the Committee to focus on the nation’s children all year-long.

The NCMC, instituted in 1953, brings together a number of agencies working with, and on behalf of children in an effort to focus on their needs, and heighten public awareness on the relevant issues affecting the nation’s children.

This year’s forum was sponsored by Facey Commodity (Musson Group), GraceKenndey, LIME and National Baking Company.

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