Focus on children with special needs in May

Friday, April 19, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica will observe Child Month this year under the theme 'Encourage, Enable, Include Me'.

Speaking at the launch, held on April 17 at the GraceKennedy Harbour Street office, downtown Kingston, Chairman of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) Dr Pauline Mullings, said this year's theme is applicable for all children; however, emphasis will be placed on children with special needs.

She noted that a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) fact sheet states that children with disabilities are one of the most marginalised and excluded groups of children, experiencing widespread violation of their rights.

“Too often, children with disabilities are defined and judged by what they lack, rather than what they have. Their exclusion and invisibility serves to render them uniquely vulnerable, denying them respect for their dignity, their individuality, even their right to life itself,” the document stated.

Several activities will be undertaken by the NCMC along with several of its partners and sponsors. Highlights of the month will include the National Church Service, which will be held on Saturday, May 4, at the Kencot Seventh-day Adventist Church, Osbourne Road, starting at 11:00 am.

Churches across the island are being encouraged to host services focusing on children during the month of May.

On Friday, May 17, National Children's Day will be observed. On the day, adults are asked to taketime out to recognise and appreciate the children, while paying special attention to those with special needs. People are also asked to wear sunshine yellow in observance of the day.

On Wednesday, May 29, a Day of Prayer will be held at the Maranatha Gospel Hall, Deanery Road, in Kingston.

Mullings said that throughout the month, the NCMC will partner with several agencies to host other events focusing on children.

Sponsors for Child Month 2019 are GraceKennedy Limited, the National Baking Company Foundation, Jamaica Producers, Jamaica Broilers Group of Companies, and the Sagicor Foundation.

—JIS


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