Fathers and Sons March for the Fight against Child Abuse
With colourful signs of potent messages condemning the abuse of children, the boys of the Yabnel Care Centre school, along with their fathers, male guardians, cadet corps from various other schools and stakeholders marched through the town of Mandeville recently as a sign of their stance.
The One Hundred Men March themed 'Save Our Boys From Violence Through Education' began on the grounds of the institution, located at 53 Ward Avenue, and culminated on the greens of the Cecil Charlton Park.
Several presenters, each expressing the need for men to become better fathers and to help steer their children out of the way of abusers, were present for this ceremony.
School Resource Officer from the Mandeville Police Station, Corporal Smith, stated that with a tendency for boys to be led astray, the march signifies that an end can be put to the current malady.
lack of guidance
"In our schools, every day we find out that many boys lack the guidance that would have been required from some of our men in society. They lack the type of leadership that is required to make them better citizens. I must commend the stakeholders who came out today to make this day a success. With this as the beginning, we are already building on the foundation that has been set."
Participating father, Boysie Swaby, who has a nine-year-old son, says such a march could not have missed him as he is willing to do all he can to protect the innocence of children.
"As a father, I realise our boys are very vulnerable due to a lack of proper parenting and it is causing a lot of our boys to lose their way. I see things like these (marches) as sending a message to society because there has been a high level of sensitisation of the issue and how we should grow our boys, but we have to continue the work. As fathers and guardians, we have to step up and play an integral role in the protecting of our boys and, not just our boys, but, our girls as well."
Grade six student Andre Royal was pleased with the turnout and hopes such an event happens more frequently.
"Children in society today are being abused and I believe it's high time that parents who are negligent give a listening ear to what children have to say and act as they should to fix whatever problem the child is facing or seek to prevent it from happening. This is the first time I have been a part of such a march, but I want it to happen more often so others can join in the fight and realise we are serious about the abuse of children."
The evening's activities ended with a thrilling performance by the Yabnel boys singing a fitting original song for the march titled Empowered for Greatness.