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Story Highlights

  • Youngsters in public and private child care facilities across the island were given an opportunity to showcase their artistic talent while demonstrating their knowledge of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS through a poster competition.
  • The posters, which best depicted the theme of “Positive Livity” were revealed at an awards ceremony held at the NCDA’s headquarters in St. Andrew on April 1.
  • Eleven of the 14 institutions targeted made submissions.

Youngsters in public and private child care facilities across the island were given an opportunity to showcase their artistic talent while demonstrating their knowledge of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS through a poster competition.

The competition, launched by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), saw entries from the St. Augustine Place of Safety in Clarendon, Garland Hall Home in Westmoreland, and the Summerfield Residential Child Care in Clarendon, copping the first, second, and third place prizes respectively.

The posters, which best depicted the theme of “Positive Livity” were revealed at an awards ceremony held at the NCDA’s headquarters in St. Andrew on April 1.

Eleven of the 14 institutions targeted made submissions. An entry from the Jamaica Christian Boys’ Home in St. Andrew was also singled out for creativity, and awarded a consolation prize.

The top prizes included computer tablets, plaques, and trophies, among other items.

The competition forms part of the NCDA’s Resistance Education Against Drugs and HIV/AIDS (READ) PLUS programme, which seeks to provide adolescents with access to support and reliable information, aimed at preventing drug abuse and risky sexual practices, that may lead to HIV/AIDS.

Executive Director of the NCDA, Michael Tucker said the intervention also seeks to provide adolescents in these facilities with the life skills that are necessary for responsible and healthy decision making.

He further noted that the initiative was launched in response to the Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna’s call for more resources and broad-based action in the area of child care and development in Jamaica.

“In keeping with the Ministry’s renewed mandate to upgrade child care institutions and implement behaviour mediation programmes, the NCDA seeks to be an active stakeholder in the process to improve the outcomes of children in care,” he said.

In the meantime, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency (CDA) Rosalee Gage-Grey, welcomed the initiative noting that “we have to give them (children in child care facilities) opportunities like this to show who they are.”

The programme is being implemented through funding support from the United States Embassy, under its President’s Emergency Plans for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) grant.