With a number of activities underway in observance of National Child Month, the Child Development Agency (CDA) continues to strengthen its focus on the mental, physical and nutritional health of the 4,400 children who are currently in State care under the theme “Healthy Children build a Stronger Nation”.
Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Mrs. Rosalee Gage-Grey informed that the Agency has partnered with the National Child Month Committee in executing its islandwide activities. “In keeping with the national theme as well as one of our corporate strategic objectives; to ensure safety, security, growth and development of the children entrusted to the care of the Agency. Currently, we have embarked on a number of activities focusing on the health and wellbeing of children, mainly those in State care” she added.
Giving details of the month-long activities to mark the observance, Public Relations and Communications Manager at the CDA, Miss Rochelle Dixon informed that it commenced with a national church service on Sunday, (May 1) at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, in Portmore, St. Catherine, organised by the National Child Month Committee.
The Agency also participated in the recently staged Food For the Poor 5K Run/Walk, geared towards providing homes for needy families; Read Across Jamaica Day, which saw the team in action, visiting several children’s homes and schools to read to children. Spiritual Emphasis Week was also observed from May 2-6, at the Manning Boys Home in Southfield, St. Elizabeth as part of the Agency’s calendar of events.
“These planned activities that we have ongoing concretise our commitment to children. We want them to be empowered and confident that they can achieve their goals. We celebrate our children daily, however, we use the month of May to get them involved in activities that they are unable to do or have never done before”, she noted.
Motivational sessions are scheduled to be held in homes across the island, including Homestead Place of Safety; City of Refuge and Elsie Bemand Girls Home, which will see celebrities, such as Emprezz Golding, Ikaya and others interacting with youngsters at the facilities. Two Youth Forums will also be held on (May 12) in the North East Region, (Oracabessa, St, Mary and St. Ann).
A special highlight of the observance will be National Children’s day which will be celebrated on Friday (May 13). Jamaicans, including CDA staff are encouraged to wear yellow as show of solidarity for the celebration of all children in Jamaica. Other activities include a prayer breakfast which will be held at Garland Hall Children’s Home and Sports Day at St. Augustine Place of Safety in Clarendon on Saturday (May 14).
Also, on May 20, CDA staff will be dressed in school uniform, signifying their commitment to children. Additionally, children will take part in our Child Management Day to be executed in companies across the island, providing them with the opportunity to manage portfolios of business professionals, including the Executive Management team at the CDA for the day. Others activities throughout the month include parish tours in CDA’s South and North East Regions; as well as recreational activities such as hiking, track and field, movie days, picnic and zoo visits, as well as fun and games day to engage children within the homes.
There will also be other scheduled motivational sessions in other facilities throughout the month, an adolescent empowerment and Healthy Lifestyle workshop, aimed at targeting children in the Agency’s Living and Family Environment (L.I.F.E) Programme, ages 4-17 years in the western region (Westmoreland, St. James, Hanover and Montego Bay).
Several beautification projects will be carried out on Labour Day, Monday (May 23) at 13 residential child care facilities, islandwide, in partnership with ScotiaFoundation, Mega Mart and Edgechem Limited.
To conclude the celebration, the National Child Month Committee will on Saturday (May 28) host a Children’s Health & Wellness Fair at the Douglas Orane Auditorium, Wolmer’s School for Boys, starting at 9:00 a.m. The Agency has also initiated a partnership to refresh backyard gardens in some of the facilities.
Various public education activities and media events will also be held to heighten awareness during and after observance.
Miss Dixon is encouraging Jamaicans, in particular parents, guardians, caregivers and teachers to participate in the NCMC’s calendar of activities and make use of the tips included for the benefit of the nation’s children throughout the observance. The calendar of activities can be accessed on the NCMC’s and CDA’s Facebook pages at www.facebook.com/ncmcja/info and www.facebook.com/child-development-Agency.
Other sponsors include Kirk Distributors, CARIMED, Scoops Limited, Palace Amusement Company Limited and Kingston Bookshop
Contact: CDA PR Unit
Tel #: 967-1614/5905