JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Eighteen wards of the State had an unforgettable experience today (May 20) when they met with Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
  • “Part of our role is to make sure that you have guardians; that there are persons who will care for you, ensure that your best interests are always served, that your basic needs are provided for and that you have the opportunity to excel like any other child in Jamaica,” the Prime Minister said.
  • One of the wards, a 16-year-old girl, was given the opportunity to sit in the Prime Minister’s chair. The teenager awed the group when she spontaneously sang a rendition of Fantasia’s I Believe, after Mr. Holness yielded his position at the head of the table to her.

Eighteen wards of the State had an unforgettable experience today (May 20) when they met with Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

The youngsters are from eight facilities in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine, as well as foster care and family reintegration homes.

They visited the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) as part of a Child Month educational excursion in the capital city, put on by the South East Regional division of the Child Development Agency (CDA).

State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, and Permanent Secretary in the OPM, Elaine Foster Allen, were also present.

Mr. Holness, who greeted each child individually, used the opportunity to urge them to strive for success.

He fielded questions about his plans for Jamaica and how it feels to be Prime Minister, as well as his views on some topical issues.

Mr. Holness assured the youngsters of the Government’s commitment to protecting the rights of children, and particularly those in State care.

“Part of our role is to make sure that you have guardians; that there are persons who will care for you, ensure that your best interests are always served, that your basic needs are provided for and that you have the opportunity to excel like any other child in Jamaica,” the Prime Minister said.

“We are building a Jamaica where you can achieve what you set your mind to. There is no limit to what you can achieve. Where you are born will not have to determine where you end up in life,” he said.

He added that “anyone of you here today can become the Prime Minister and that is something you must always remember.”

CDA Regional Director, Robert Williams, explained that the Child Month initiative involves some 48 children being taken to different locations in the Corporate Area, as part of a move to expose them to places and persons of interest.

They also visited the Houses of Parliament, Norman Manley International Airport and the National Gallery.

“We don’t know when one of them may be inspired or motivated by someone they meet or some place they go to. It is a special day in the lives of these children,” Mr. Williams said.
He believes that meeting the Prime Minister will be beneficial to the youngsters.

One of the wards, a 16-year-old girl, was given the opportunity to sit in the Prime Minister’s chair. The teenager awed the group when she spontaneously sang a rendition of Fantasia’s I Believe, after Mr. Holness yielded his position at the head of the table to her.

“It felt very awesome because it was my first time for something like this,” she told JIS News.

Another 16-year old girl said it was “an amazing feeling to get to meet the Prime Minister and to hear him speak about issues concerning Jamaica and children.”

“I took away from what he said that we should work hard to be like him as a Prime Minister or even greater,” she pointed out.

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