JIS News

Leader of the Youth Parliament of Jamaica, Tamian Beckford, has said that adults need to invest in young persons to enable them to become more competent in the future.
“As a young man who has had a pretty rough time growing up.I am pretty aware of the investments that we need to make or that adults need to make. These investments include providing a stable foundation for a comfortable family life; providing the child with the resources and access to gain a proper education; helping that child to make positive decisions; talking and reasoning with your child; and supporting the co-curricular activities of your children. These are investments that we need to make as adults in order to make young people better,” Mr. Beckford said.
He was speaking at the National Child Month Committee’s (NCMC) essay and poster competition awards presentation ceremony yesterday (May 30) at the Alhambra Inn in Kingston.
Mr. Beckford went on to note that young persons, needed “positive foundations so we can become proper members of the citizenry, not going out there to steal and to kill.but to be productive members who work for the hard earned cash to develop and to push Jamaica forward.”
He also pointed to education as an important tool in enabling young people to see and interpret the world critically and make informed decisions.
The Youth Prime Minister went on to implore young persons to pave their own paths and not to “follow the crowd because the crowd is loud,” adding that youths should have input in their own futures. “It’s not just about adults making investments in you, you have to make an investment in yourself,” he said.
“What I encourage the (National) Child Month Committee to do is when young people write these essays, that they are just not for this competition, but that they are forwarded to the politicians at Gordon House to read, to understand the plight of our young people,” he added.
The Committee’s mission is to use the month of May, recognized in Jamaica as Child Month, to educate the public about the needs of children and to highlight what individuals can do to help. The theme for Child Month this year is “Our Children: Today’s Investment, Tomorrow’s Gain.”
On another matter, Mr. Beckford said he is advocating for more frequent sittings of the National Youth Parliament, “so that the issues that young people have can go seriously into parliament on green papers or white papers.” The National Youth Parliament is currently held once every year in November.
“I am one young person who knows that I can contribute positively to Jamaica,” he asserted, while encouraging the media to do their part in highlighting young people who make positive contributions to the society.
Meanwhile, Children’s Advocate, Mary Clarke, thanked the members of NCMC for turning the nation’s attention to children and issues related to children during the month of May. “They are a good example of what it means to invest in our children. Through their activities, they’ve been able to create awareness of issues and challenges affecting the development of our children, and to give us suggestions as to how we can invest and seek to address the challenges,” she said.
Chairman of the NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings, in her remarks, said “Today is a fine example of some of the positive things that are happening in the lives of our children. I want to congratulate all of our awardees today.I want to congratulate the teachers who have motivated and helped, I want to congratulate the parents who have been pushing their children and ensuring that they take part and get involved and express themselves.”
The first Child Month programme was organized in 1953 by the NCMC, which then comprised representatives from the Voluntary Organization for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH) and Jamaica Save the Children Fund.
Committee membership now includes representatives of Government and non-governmental organizations, working in the interest of the children of Jamaica.