'Boys bring babies!'
"Books before boys, because boys bring babies!" was Dr Sasha Shim-Hue's stern warning to participants at the Clarendon Youth and Child Protection Committee's children's conference in May Pen, Clarendon, recently.
Shim-Hue, who was delivering the keynote address at the conference against the background of mounting media's reports of child abuses in Clarendon, told participants that the analogy of the 'books before boys, because boys bring babies' is the seven Bs to academic success and ultimately the foundation to a good family life.
And in reference to her own life's experience, the trained counsellor and deputy general manager at the Ebony Park HEART academy said it wasn't by accident she didn't have a child until she was well advanced in her second degree.
"So how can having unprotected sex not get you pregnant ... it is impossible. You step out into the deep sea and can't swim, you are bound to drown," she said.
"What is important here is that you must have a desire to be somebody and not to see yourself as an old man's sex toys, a beating stick ... or a conductor's baby," implored Shim-Hue.
She theorises that, with the advent of technology, many of the children in the society have lost their way, with an increased propensity of children to be overexposed to pornography and the contents been played out, wreaking havoc in the society.
The children's conference, which was running for the second successive year, according to the youth and child protect committee chairperson, Melbourine McPherson, was a medium to engage young people in the parish, to look critically at the issues and challenges facing them.
"The conference so far is a success in terms of number of participants, presentations and overall involvement and interactions of the young people with the key stakeholders in children rights," McPherson said.
"Our objectives are to engage young people in an open discussion on the challenges and issues facing them and to allow them this medium to make recommendations on how to alleviate the problems that are prohibiting their development," she added.
Pointing out the significance of getting the young people's perspective on the issues facing them, McPherson remarked that oftentimes decisions and strategies are crafted in the youths' interest, but the youths are left out of the planning and decision-making.