|Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner. (FP)|
"Empowering Families, Save Our Children", this year’s theme for Child Month, is even more critical given the current socio-economic environment.
This was asserted by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner.?? She was speaking at the Winston Scott Polyclinic’s closing and prize-giving ceremony for its Child Month Activities at the National Union of Public Workers’ Headquarters, Dalkeith, St. Michael, today.
She said it was important for children who were vulnerable and impressionable to know that they were "loved and cherished".
"Too often, there is abuse, neglect, immorality, varying health problems such as diabetes, and sexually transmitted diseases which cast a cloud of despair over our children. It is pleasing to note that [the theme for Child Month] emphasises the need to empower families.
??"The goal, therefore, is to assist families, giving them the power through knowledge so that there is greater self-reliance and independence. In addition, providing them with the necessary tools to make informed decisions and, at the same time, take responsibility for their actions and the choices that they make," Senator Sandiford-Garner underlined.
She said persons often coined the phrase "children are our future," but their actions had to demonstrate that they took the responsibility of child-rearing seriously.
The Senator acknowledged that even though we no longer lived in a typical village setting, it still took a whole village to raise a child. In addition, she pointed out that communities and families had to work together to produce well-rounded children.
"Our primary concern is for their healthy growth, and overall development from the womb to adulthood. Thus, we must remember that a healthy and wealthy nation begins with our children….We must, therefore, seek to nurture and protect our children; thus building a strong foundation from which they can springboard into a bright and promising future," Senator Sandiford-Garner emphasised.