Thu | Sep 21, 2017

'Take action! Break the chain of abuse'

Published:Thursday | May 4, 2017 | 5:00 AMJason Cross
The 'Logos Hope' mascot welcomes book enthusiasts as they make their way on to the book ship.
Students from the Wilbert Stewart Basic School perform during a National Child Month Committee's Youth Academic Achievement Awards.
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In accordance with its chief mandate, ensuring the protection of the nation's children, the Child Development Agency (CDA) has embarked on its own set of special activities in celebrating Child Month 2017, themed 'Take Action! Break the Chain of Child Abuse Against Children'.

Child Month commenced Monday.

"The level of violence meted out against our children is alarming, and it is our hope that persons will take a stand and commit to breaking the silence and changing the social morals that have led many to turning a blind eye in the face of abuse, neglect, and abandonment of our children. This year's observance is focused on child protection and is a call to action for the unification of our nation to take action and break the chain," stated CDA's Public Relations and Communications Manager Rochelle Dixon in a press statement.

Several events will be hosted by the CDA throughout the month of May and the early part of June, including activities geared at educating and increasing the nation's awareness about child abuse.

Dixon wanted to appeal to the Jamaican populous to exercise greater vigilance in protecting every child throughout Child Month and beyond. She also encouraged citizens aware of any cases, or possible cases, of child abuse to file a report at the Office of the Children's Registry at 1-888-PROTECT or any CDA parish office. Reports may also be lodged on any of the CDA's social media pages or at 948-2841-2.

CHILD MONTH ACTIVITIES

- May 1 - Social media chat on child protection at CDA's Duke Street, Kingston, office, via Twitter @cdajm and www.facebook.com/cdajm.

- May 3 - Representatives from the agency will participate in National Read Across Jamaica Day, which will see them revisiting alma maters to read to students.

- May 7 - National Church Service at the Fellowship Tabernacle, Fairfield Avenue, Kingston.

- May 7-11 - Spiritual Awareness Week at the Manning Boys' Home, Southfield, St Elizabeth.

- May 9 - CDA Cares Launch at the Courtleigh Hotel at 6 p.m. CDA Cares will become a volunteer arm of the agency and will include businesses, CDA staff, and wards of the State giving back to the homes.

- May 12 - Child protection walkthroughs in targeted hot-spot communities where child abuse and neglect are prevalent. Several other walkthroughs will be held throughout the month.

- May 13 - CDA participates in the Poor 5k Walk/Run - a fundraiser to construct homes for vulnerable families - at Emancipation Park.

- May 19 - National Children's Day and the CDA's Child-Management Day. Children will be awarded opportunities to manage portfolios of business professionals.

- May 23 (Labour Day) - Several clean-up and beautification projects within childcare facilities.

- May 24 - Representatives from the agency will visit Ananda Dean's Whitehall Avenue community in Kingston to refresh a painting of her. Discussions will also be had about child abuse and child protection among residents during a planned candle-lighting ceremony.

- May 27 - National Children's Expo and Special Needs fair, a joint event between the CDA and the Nathan Ebanks Foundation. Children services from various partners such as the National Health Fund, the Jamaica Disabilities Foundation, the National Parenting Support Commission, and many more will be provided.

- May 16-June 11 - CDA and Logos Hope (a book ship) will provide 100 children from childcare facilities with the opportunity to visit the ship, select books, read, and engage in worship. The children will also benefit from free dental and optical services as part of the experience.