Hundreds of children living in Falmouth and its environs participated in the National Child Month Church Service, which was held on Sunday, May 6 at the William Knibb Memorial Baptist Church in Trelawny.
The service marked the start of Child Month activities, which will be held under the theme ‘A.F.F.I.R.M Me’. Chair of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), Dr. Pauline Mullings, whose remarks were read by Kerri-Anne Palmer, a member of the NCMC, said that the theme emerged from a call from children for adults to recognise and validate their worth.
She added that children need an environment that fosters love, friendship and appreciation, and they want grown-ups to be role models who will impact their lives in a positive way.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Falmouth, His Worship Councillor Colin Gager, brought greetings on behalf of State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green.
“As we bring added national focus to the status and welfare of our children, we should do so against the background of many encouraging accomplishments of our children, and we should be keenly aware of the need to continue working tirelessly to protect them from the various forms of abuse,” the Mayor said.
“Amid reports of violent attacks, physical and verbal abuses on our children, we must go beyond condemnation and expression of frustration. We must all get involved by using the available avenues, such as the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and the Office of the Children’s Advocate, to report incidents of child abuse,” he added.
The Mayor charged those in attendance to acknowledge, positively influence and motive all the children they come in contact with daily.
Other activities for Child Month include National Children’s Day, which will be observed on Friday, May 18. The NCMC members, along with stakeholders and sponsors, will be in Half-Way Tree; St. William Grant Park, downtown Kingston; and Sam Sharp Square, Montego Bay, to interact with children.
The public is being asked to wear bright yellow on Children’s Day. On Wednesday, May 30, a National Day of Prayer and Fasting will be held at the May Pen New Testament Church of God from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. On this day, individuals and organisations are being asked to observe one minute of silence at noon.
Sponsors of Child Month include GraceKennedy Ltd., National Baking Company Ltd., Kingston Bookshop, RJRGleaner Communications Group, National Health Fund, General Accident Insurance Company Ltd., Island Grill Ltd., Jamaica Producers Group Ltd., and Restaurants of Jamaica.