Hundreds of children to participate in National Children’s Summit
Participants at the inaugural National Children Summit at the Jamaica ConferenceCentre in downtown Kingston. (PHOTO: MICHAEL GORDON)

KINGSTON, Jamaica - More than 1,200 children are expected to participate in the fifth staging of the National Children’s Summit (NCS) on Thursday, August 18, at the National Indoor Sports Centre.

The event will be held under the theme ‘Beat the Odds, Chart your Destiny!’, and is in keeping with the strategic objectives and core values of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) to improve child rights and participation, as the agency continues to focus on children in and out of State care.

Public Outreach and Social Media Coordinator at the CPFSA, Carolyn Johnson, said the agency is creating engagement opportunities for children, especially those in State care, to express their views on issues and decisions affecting them, and this is achieved through the NCS, held biennially since 2015.

She pointed out that the NCS was conceptualised by the CPFSA and Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP) in 2014.

“CAP saw the need for a forum that would create an opportunity for the Panel to interact more with the children it represents, particularly those in State care,” Johnson said.

“Since then, the Summit has been held every two years and is now one of the most important initiatives for each cohort of the CAP. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 staging was postponed to August 2022,” she added.

The event will provide an opportunity for hundreds of children selected from the child protection sector, special children’s groups and faith-based organisations islandwide to express their views and wishes about their development and that of their country.

According to Johnson, the NCS also provides a unique opportunity for these children to interact with their peers and to develop social skills and graces that can help in shaping who they are, today and tomorrow.

“They will share their opinions, learn and talk about their rights, the challenges they face and contribute to the formulation of solutions while being exposed to a number of personal development sessions, and having fun,” she pointed out.

The Summit will be streamed live on CPFSA's YouTube @Child Protection & Family Services Agency.

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