Lady Allen calls for strengthening of programmes related to children

(JIS) — Wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency Lady Allen, has called for the strengthening of agencies that deal with matters related to the family and for investment in programmes on conflict resolution and safety in the homes and community, as this might help to reduce violence against children.

“As a society we need to raise the standards and increase the number of professionals, who deal with issues related to children,” she stated, as she addressed the official launch of Child Month yesterday April 6 at the Institute of Jamaica, downtown Kingston.

National Child Month 2011 will be observed in May under the theme: ‘Our World… Their Future…Our Responsibility.’

Lady Allen said that the theme was quite profound and appropriate as it recognised the tremendous responsibility that adults have in molding the children of today’s society into the kind of adults they will become in the future.

She argued that children are the fruits of society and therefore their success, or lack thereof, was heavily dependent on their parents, caregivers, and policy makers. “Can good fruits come from a bad tree?” she questioned.

“We need to be more adamant about instilling core principles in our children. We cannot continue to leave their development to chance,” she stated.

Lady Allen further called on policy makers to ensure that members of society were constantly reminded of the rights of the child, suggesting that this could be done through an ongoing media campaign in which sections of the Convention of the Rights of the Child could be explained to the public.

National Child Month is a programme of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) will kick off activities with a thanksgiving service on Sunday, May 1 at the Trinity Moravian Church, 29 Montgomery Avenue, Kingston 10, starting at 8:00 a.m.

Churches island-wide will be asked to celebrate the day by making their services child-focused and allowing children to participate in the services.

National Action Day will be observed on May 6, with the national activity to be undertaken at the Early Stimulation Project on Hanover Street, downtown Kingston.

Other activities to mark the month are poster and essay competitions, a youth/children’s forum, a children’s fun day and a mini expo.

The NCMC will also observe International Children’s Day, which is a designation of the United Nations, on Friday, November 18.