A press event was held on Thursday announcing the observance of Child Protection Month in April 2023. This year’s theme is ‘One Nation Uniting to Protect Our Children.’ The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development hosted event was conducted by students from various schools in the country.
The keynote speaker at the event was Queen’s College student Nylah Symonette who said, “we should be allowed to laugh and play. We should be able to focus on school and get good grades. We should be happy and carefree. It should not hurt to be a child. We should not be ashamed of who we are. We should not be afraid to find our voices and speak up for ourselves. We should not be mad or sad or cry everyday. We should not feel unwanted or like we are a burden to our parents or guardians. We should not be exposed to physical and verbal abuse from anyone most especially not from the people in our lives who should be ‘teaching us well, letting us lead the way and showing us all the beauty we possess inside.'”
Also addressing the launch was Charlamae Fernander of Social Services who said, “we have found that very often children ensure certain bahaviour because its coming from or perpetrated by persons that they’re supposed to love and trust in their homes, in their environments and they come to believe that such treatment is normal, so to speak, when in fact it is not. And so it is our duty, not only the Department of Social Service or our ministry, but every adult throughout this nation has a duty to advise children otherwise, what is right, what is wrong, what’s acceptable, what is not. Because if we ruin the young people of today we have nothing to look forward to.”