The Child Development Agency (CDA) has teamed up with Palace Amusement to treat nearly 200 children in State care to a day at the movies. Children from a number of Children’s Homes and Places of Safety from across the island were given the chance to watch various movies at Palace’s Cinemas in different locations.
The treat which was introduced as part of CDA’s Dinner and a Movie initiative was geared at expanding the experiences of children in State care.
CDA has statutory responsibility for children in need of care and protection (those who have been abused, abandoned and neglected) who reside in eight government child care facilities which the Agency directly operates, and 47 private facilities for which the CDA has monitoring responsibility.
Minister of Youth and Culture the Hon. Lisa Hanna who was on hand to greet some 25 boys from the Muirton Child Care Facility before the start of their 3-D Movie, Epic, at Sovereign Centre, observed that recreation and leisure was vital to the growth and development of the children and also supported their right to leisure under the UN Convention on the Rights of the child.
“It is critical that even as we focus on the issues such as the children’s education and vocational training and other needs, that we also ensure that we exposure them to activities that stimulate their imagination,” the Minister said.
Thanking Palace Amusement for its generosity, CEO of the CDA, Carla Francis-Edie observed that the Dinner and Movie Series was developed to give children in State care experience of other aspects of life while affording them time outside of their everyday routine.
“The move is part of the effort to expand their life experiences. There are many children in State care, who by virtue of their social background and where they come from, have not had the opportunity to relax and enjoy life. Coupled with the other programmes offered in the residential child care facilities, this series will enable children to be more rounded.
Sixty girls from the Granville Place of Safety in Trelawny got a chance to see Star Trek in 3-D at Palace in St. James; 20 boys from Muirton saw Epic in 3-D at the Palace Cineplex; 55 girls from Homestead saw Tyler Perry’s Temptations at Carib, and while 26 boys from Summerfield and St. Augustine combined saw Epic. Twenty-seven boys from the Manning Boy’s Home also saw Epic. The children were accompanied by care-givers from the Homes.
Melanie Graham, Marketing Manager of Palace Amusement, said the company was pleased to have accommodated the children, who were treated to the ultimate movie experience, where they were transported to magical worlds of entertainment, in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.
“Movie-going is a proven catalyst for socialization, love and relationships and we hope the experience will support the work and effort of the CDA to nurture and groom these young wards of the state into confident and productive citizens of the future”. Mrs. Graham said
Sophia Walters Acting Manager at the Homestead Place of Safety who accompanied the girls to the movies, said that the trip was more than entertainment, but was also educational.
“The movie taught valuable lessons about relationships, sex and sexuality, drug addiction, reproductive health, HIV/AIDs, and other societal issues. It was very enlightening for the girls, and will form the basis of our discussions about the need for healthy lifestyles and positive sexual behaviour,” Ms. Walters said.
Nicole a 14-year-old ward from Homestead said it was great to be at the movies, adding that she learnt a lot about life from it.
Contact: Prudence N. Barnes