Letter of the Day | Let us celebrate our children
THE EDITOR, Madam:
This is May! Thirty-one special days of special focus to celebrate our children, our young gentlemen and young ladies, our leaders of tomorrow! Who would have thought that the COVID-19 pandemic would still persist after a year? But we will be celebrating our children in the virtual space while our families will celebrate them safely with an elbow touch or a foot swing, if not a hug. Mek sure oonu mask up and sanitise!
We celebrate our children under the Child Month theme I S.O.A.R.: I Strive to Overcome Adversities with Resilience!
Yet we start the month with a bitter taste. We are saddened, angry, and in disbelief over the way this special month has started. The continued and merciless attacks on our innocent children despite the many calls from so many is atrocious to say the least. We strongly condemn every single one of these incidents and urge all parents and well-thinking Jamaicans to do the same.
Similarly, with the attacks on our children, so too must increasingly rapid, new, and more effective mechanisms be put in place to protect our children and counter any threats. We are people, after all – not animals. And they are OUR children. It is our duty to protect them.
Please pause for a minute of silence in honour of our children who, in recent times, have been injured or have met an untimely passing. Our heartfelt condolences and support go out to all the families of the victims, and we pray that justice comes swiftly for the perpetrators.
Our children have been particularly challenged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, and yet they continue to shine despite these many challenges, in keeping with the theme. So many are online ambassadors in the learning process; so many continue to excel in their academics; so many are achieving or surpassing expectations; and so many are transforming their classroom, co-curricular, and sports activities in the virtual space in so many creative ways.
As parents and caregivers, we often encounter challenging times as we care for these our gems, but as a nation, we need to collaborate like in the ‘olden days’ to protect our children physically, mentally, virtually, and to safeguard their future. After all, it does ‘take a village to raise a child.’ A recent study by a doctor promotes four critical pillars to keep our children focused on the right path to becoming productive citizens: food; safety; support (parent, family, and community); and education.
Home is a safe space. DO NOT abuse or neglect our children.
Interim President, National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica