Letters to the Editor

Let's help children in State care enjoy Emancipendence

Friday, August 03, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Most Jamaicans look forward to Emancipation and Independence Day celebrations in August, as it allows for a time from work and school and days when we just have fun. At this time, too, we have our Festival celebrations and there are a number of activities happening as well, as the Jamaican culture is on display.

When one looks at the number of activities put on by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, and by private promoters, one would have to make the decision as to which event to attend and a critical element in making that decision is the cost of going.

Cost takes into account travelling, entrance fees, lunch, and incidentals such as purchasing items on display. For the average family of four this can be a tidy sum and so they will have to limit their choices. In the case of a children's home it is a different situation as the numbers are much more than the average family.

I am associated with a children's home in Kingston and when I look at what it would cost us to take 15 girls to attend an event at the National Stadium, where there is no entrance fee, it is approximately $22,000; we cannot afford it. Just imagine what it would cost us if we were paying to enter.

I appeal to corporate Jamaica, and Jamaicans in general, to remember that we have children in State care who would love to participate in the festivities happening at this time. We are working at taking them to the Independence Village and would love to take them to Denbigh as well, as they have never been to either event. But funding is a problem.

This is summer and I have found that companies give little — if I use the experience of seeking donations of drinks to keep them cool and hydrated. But I hope it will see some improvements.

Jamaica, let us not dwell on the negative press children's homes have been receiving, but remember that there are still youngsters in State care who would love an opportunity to enjoy the Independence festivities. We must stop saying the children are our future if we do not allow them to be part of the present.

Sylvester E Anderson JP

Valentine Gardens

Kingston 19

sly1962@hotmail.com

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