Marching against child abuse
The North Jamaica Conference (NJC) of Seventh-day Adventists in Drax Hall, St Ann, will stage an anti child-abuse march under the theme 'Stop Child Abuse - End It Now' on Thursday, May 19.
The march is in observance of May as Child Month and forms part of the organisation's strategic plans to celebrate and promote Child Month and child health.
The event is being organised by the Women's and Children's Ministries Department of the NJC, in collaboration with the Family Life Department. It is expected that more than 200 persons will convene at Drax Hall, after marching from two central locations - Ocho Rios and St Ann's Bay.
"The march will see students, parents, Pathfinders, Master Guides and community institutions taking a stand by voice, music and placard messages against the various forms of child abuse," noted Omar Oliphant, senior pastor and youth ministries and communications director at NJC, in a media release.
Several state agencies and corporate companies, which will be promoting positive messages, products and advice for childcare, will collaborate with the church. These include the Child Development Agency, the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, the Ministry of Education, and Adventist Family Ministries.
Women's and Children's Ministries director Paulette Ambursely said one of the key features of the march will be presentations by state agencies and child advocates on ways to spot, intervene, and find solutions to the issues relating to abuse.
"We want to send the message of zero tolerance to any and all forms of abuse, particularly towards our most vulnerable, our children," Ambursely stated.
Meanwhile, Pastor Omri Davis, family life director, stated that the church is not immune to these issues and in any event will need to collaborate with other groups in ensuring that the public is aware and consciences are alerted and made aware of the key issues relating to child care.
According to Davis: "We want to restate and reaffirm our commitment to the love, protection, and safety of our children."