Save us! 12-year-old urges Jamaicans to give hope to the children
She has not yet entered her teen years, but Alexia Blake is well aware of the dangers facing Jamaican children.
"Children need to have hope. What hope can we have if all we know is violence at home, school and in the society in which we live?" declared the 12-year-old as she addressed the recent children's day celebration of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Falmouth, Trelawny.
"Parents in particular must be wise in the care and protection of their children; and if children have proper home training, they will not be found on the streets or anywhere else for that matter.
"Train your children to be true to God under all circumstances and in all places," added Alexia.
She called on all Jamaicans to provide a safer society for children.
"If you fail to choose a proper society for your children and allow them to associate with persons of questionable morals, you place your children at risk," said Alexia.
The Falmouth Preparatory School student received a resounding amen from the worshippers who participated in the function which was held under the theme 'Heaven-bound children on a mission for the Lord'.
She argued that children must be taught that every organ of the body and every faculty of the mind is the gift of a good and wise God, and that each is to be used to His glory.
Work to do
Alexia was supported by Rachel Pyne, the education and children's ministries director for the North Jamaica Conference.
"As parents and adults we have work to do in protecting our children and to provide a warm, loving environment so that they can grow up into stable adulthood," said Pyne.
"The times in which we live are serious, and based on what we see and hear about our children being abused and misused, we must take a stand and fight these horrific crimes right where we are.
"We must continue to do our part to end abuse by reporting them, and as parents, whether the abuse is caused by you, another family member, friend or stranger - act now! Get help or report the cases. The well-being of our children is important, for our future and our country's safety."