Ready to start a 'cultural revolution'
Acting Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Sydney Bartley told The Gleaner on Sunday that the ministry is in the process of initiating a cultural revolution in order to curb the spate of violence against children in Jamaica.
According to him, persons need to get back to their traditional values.
"What we have been launching in the ministry is a reinventing of our culture and our traditional heritage," he said following the National Foster Care Recognition church service that was held at the Jamaica Evangelistic Association in Kingston.
He added: "What the minister (Lisa Hanna) has been talking a lot about is the re-establishing of parenting, re-establishing community engagement with the development of our children so that these crimes against our children will just not happen within our country," he said.
Bartley also took the time to express condolences to the families of children killed recently, and called for a shift of focus.
"We at the ministry mourn with those families who have had losses recently and what we want is the coming together of persons where it's not about self alone. We have become a country too focused on material things. We really need to get back to tradition," he declared.
Carla Francis Edie, chief executive officer at the Child Development Agency, also called Jamaicans to look out for the welfare of children within the country.
Look out for children
"People often say that children are the future, but our children are also the now, and so we have to look out for every child, even if it's not our own," she said.
In the meantime, Bartley said that even though the ministry still has a long way to go in bringing state care facilities to a satisfactory level, there were a number of initiatives underway that would help achieve this.
"We are quite far. We have launched a task force and the minister has spoken about an arts and therapeutic programme, and we have a series of initiatives that we are working on and we are bringing all groups together," he said.
"I can assure persons that the ministry will be doing its best to get these facilities to satisfactory standards, but we need the help of the media and everyone to come on board," he said.