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Adventists lead march against child abuse

Published:Friday | May 20, 2016 | 5:24 AM
Some of the participants in the march against child abuse in St Ann on Thursday

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

More than 200 students from schools in St Ann, supported a North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventist-organised march against child abuse on Thursday.

At the same time, the Adventist group has announced that it will be establishing child protection committees in the church.

L‎orraine Vernal, director for children and adolescent, women and family, at Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, says the committees will lead a screening process for church members dealing with children.

"We don't want any and anybody dealing with our children. We are saying salvation but we want to protect our children," she said.

"We want statistics to be non-existent  in terms of abuse."

Yesterday, students from all levels, including from the Care Bear basic, Steps Academy, Kinder Kollege, St Ann's Bay high and preparatory, Brown's Town high, and Marcus Garvey technical marched with placards through the streets of St Ann's Bay before moving into the Greenwich housing scheme in Drax Hall for the culmination with a mass meeting at Word of Hope, the Seventh-Day Adventist church.

There, personnel from the Child Development Agency, the Office of the Children's Registry and Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, provided information on child abuse.

"I strongly believe the objectives were met," said Paulette Ambursely, director of women, children and adolescent at the North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventist.