JIS News

The Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) has planned several activities for 2005 as it carries out its mandate of working to prevent violence.
Dr. Elizabeth Ward, executive member of the VPA and Director of Disease Prevention and Control in the Ministry of Health, told JIS News that the organisation would be collaborating with the Violence Free Day campaign committee to observe ‘Violence Free Day’ on February 6. This is the group’s first major public activity since it was launched in November 2004.
Dr. Ward said that the extent of the partnership would involve the co-sponsoring of activities organized and produced by the Violence Free Day committee including meetings, educational materials, as well as billboards, posters, banners and videos.Meanwhile, the VPA will be observing Peace Day on March 1. Activities surrounding this event will include the launch of a book titled: Raising Kids to Resist Violence along with a CD-Rom with games, Dr. Ward informed JIS News.
She also informed that the Alliance had been working with the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) in Trench Town to use sport competitions to bring a culture of peace to the area. “We are using sports to encourage peace in the community. We use football, basketball, and netball to effect behaviour and lifestyle change,” she noted.
She said that there were rules governing the competitions and those who did not acknowledge the regulations, would not be allowed to take part in the activities.
Dr. Ward also pointed out that the VPA was working with several groups, including the National AIDS committee, even though the Alliance’s primary focus was on violence prevention.
The VPA is a network of governmental and non-governmental organizations, community-based groups and private, international and inter- governmental agencies working to prevent violence.
It has a public health approach that targets the root causes of violence, and recognizes the need for improved services to mitigate the harmful effects of violence.
Key agencies involved in the Alliance are the Ministries of Health, National Security and Education, Youth and Culture, and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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