The Child Development Agency (CDA) stages the latest in its“Every Child is My Child” Community Forum and Expo series at the Allman Town Primary School, 19 Victoria Street in Allman Town on Wednesday, September 25, 2013. The expo starts at 3:00p.m. with the official function beginning at 5:00p.m.
The event which is being held under the theme: Parenting for Positive Change in Jamaica, will feature Minister of Youth and Culture the Hon. Lisa Hanna and CDA’s Acting CEO Rosalee Gage-Grey. Representatives from stakeholder groups such as Office of the Children’s Registry; CISOCA; the Broadcasting Commission; the Office of the Children’s Advocate, the National Parenting Support Commission, among others, will also participate in the event.
Since last year CDA has held five major community meetings in communities in Kingston and St. Andrew; St. James; Westmoreland; Manchester and St. Elizabeth. In addition, the Agency’s regional offices continue to carry out routine intervention in neighbourhoods across Jamaica.
In underscoring the importance of the community meetings and the focus on parenting, Minister of Youth and Culture the Hon. Lisa Hanna said: “If we are to make a positive change in the lives of our children, we will have to start within the homes and with the parents.”
“Children live what they learn and so parents must start teaching by demonstrating the positive attitudes they wish to see within their children, the Minister said, adding: “Parents must take greater responsibility for the care and protection of their children.”
Acting CEO of the CDA Rosalee Gage-Grey indicated that the meetings have been an important tool in sensitising members of the public on the matter of child protection with the ultimate aim of bringing about more positive attitudes towards children.
“Awareness is key to reducing the incidence of child abuse in Jamaica and to encouraging more Jamaicans to take personal responsibility for our children,” she said, noting that the theme focusing on parenting comes at an opportune time, as evidence suggests that the lack of proper parenting continues to be one of the most critical factors affecting the wellbeing of the nation’s children.
The exhibitors at the event include the Child Development Agency; the National Parenting Support Commission; the Office of the Children’s Registry; CISOCA; HEART Trust/NTA; the National Council on Drug Abuse; the Office of the Children’s Advocate; the Ministry of Labour’s PATH Programme; Police Safety and Security, among others.