Lindeners joined the rest of the country in observing Child Protection Week 2018, with a grand parade yesterday. The event saw scores of residents, parents, teachers, and children participating as they raised awareness on the role the community has to play in protecting its youngest.
Exhibiting banners and placards, the little children were the main attraction of the parade which commenced from the Wismar Market and culminated at the Linden/Georgetown bus park in Mackenzie.
At the park, a ceremony was held to further enlighten participants of the need to stamp out child abuse. Statistics show that for 2017, the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), recorded a total of 4,179 cases of child abuse. Region Ten reflected by 22.1 percent per 1,000 children. Being cognizant of this, the CPA has increased its sensitization programmes.
Registration and Licensed Officer, Melissa Chapman noted that child protection is everyone’s business and that the CPA is striving to prevent, reduce and alleviate the effects of the abuse and neglect of children, through the provision of effective services in their communities and in their family settings.
Regional Chairman Renis Morian, in his remarks, urged fathers to get involved in their children’s lives. “I want to appeal to brothers in this community, our children need us, they need their fathers, I am sending out a call to our fathers, let us again, stand with our children.”
Morian urged the CPA to become more social media savvy since the internet is one of the platforms best-suited to getting key information across to children especially teenagers. He said the RDC is willing to collaborate with the CPA’s Region Ten office to better equip them with tools and transportation needed to be of service to outlying areas as well.
Deputy Commander of E’ Division Jermaine Harper, gave the assurance that the police will police work to ensure the children are protected. He also urged everyone to get involved. “It takes a whole village to raise a child, not just one person… the way forward is for us to work together and make sure we look out for one another; we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. He urged parents to keep talking with their children and to play an integral role in their lives.
The audience was also ‘edutained’ through song and dramatic poetry.
This event was the second of three days of activities in observance of Child Protection Week 2018. While there are activities planned for every region, Region Ten’s activities commenced on Sunday with an inter-religious service.
Today, there will be a ‘gaff in the street’ where residents will be further sensitized to their role as a community to stamp out child abuse from Linden.
Child Protection Week is being observed under the theme: ‘Supporting families to prevent child abuse through education and community development.’
Story and Images: Vanessa Braithwaite.