The Methodist Church in Jamaica has launched Operation SAVE 50, an initiative aimed at rescuing young people from the cycle of neglect, and physical and mental abuse, and to help them develop their full potential.
SAVE is the acronym for Secure, Appreciate, Value, and Encourage. The project is seeking to implement the Jamaica Methodist district subtheme 'Nurture the Children: Build the Kingdom' while at the same time addressing a major concern regarding the safety, well-being, worth, and achievement of Jamaica's children.
The overarching objectives of the project are to help children know and understand that they are precious to God; to know themselves and their issues; and to encourage them to enter into a meaningful relationship with Christ. In so doing, they would maximise their potential.
Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna, who spoke during the recent launch at the Providence Methodist Church in Kingston, gave the assurance that the project had her full endorsement. In encouraging the church to share the concept of the project with the Jamaica Council of Churches so it could be adopted as a blueprint by the wider religious community, she said the fight against child abuse would be significantly strengthened. She also urged all Jamaicans to be vigilant in the fight against child abuse.
eradicate child abuse
Hanna noted that children made up 33 per cent of the population and that statistics provided by the Office of the Children's Registry showed that sexual offenders were often known to the children. Among them were stepmothers, stepfathers, uncles, mothers, fathers, granduncles, she said.
She mentioned the recent incidents against children and urged everyone present to join in the campaign to eradicate the culture of child abuse in Jamaica.
In launching the project, the Reverend Everald Galbraith, president of the Methodist Church, Jamaica district, said: "This is a small contribution from one denomination to the development of our children, our nation, and the Kingdom of God. We have the full support of all our members and the blessings of Almighty God. As president of the Methodist Church Jamaica District I call upon all our circuits, all our members, and all well-thinking citizens and residents in Jamaica to seek and SAVE at least 50 children during September 2012 to August 2013."
The project will embrace children (especially at risk) under 18 years in the congregations and communities surrounding the 171 churches of the 27 circuits of the Jamaica Methodist District. It is hoped that approximately 1,350 children will benefit in the first year. Some areas of focus will be:
Learning the children's names;