#Jamaica60: Children hoping for a better Jamaica
Nine-year-old Ackeena Clunis, seven-year-old Rhea Russell and her brother 15-year-old Joshua Silvera

As Jamaica celebrates its 60th year of Independence from British rule, many are looking back with fondness.

The year-long celebrations are being observed under the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’ and while many are reflecting on the country’s achievements in the last 60 years, several children have shared with OBSERVER ONLINE what they think the government and the citizens of the country need to do in order to attain greatness.

A seven-year-old student from Excelsior Primary School, Rhea Russell, told OBSERVER ONLINE that what she wants for Jamaica the most is a fix for homelessness.

“I want Jamaica to be clean and people to be nice to other people. I also want people to not be on the streets because it’s sad that they don’t have a home and they have to sleep on the street,” Rhea said, while she added that her last hope is for “corona to go away.”

Meanwhile, her 15-year-old brother, a student of Jamaica College, Joshua Silvera, said he hopes to one day see a Jamaica with less crime and more opportunities for youth.

“In the future, I want to see less people dying and committing crime. I also want more unity from people so that we can all live in peace without the fear of dying a violent death. Also, I want more investment in educational opportunities, green energy and affordable housing to ensure that the next generation has somewhere comfortable to live,” Joshua said.

Sharing both Rhea’s and Joshua’s sentiments, nine-year-old student from St Martin De Porres Primary School, Ackeena Clunis told OBSERVER ONLINE that in addition to seeing a more peaceful society, she wants to see a “cleaner” Jamaica.

“I want to see Jamaica safer and clean because right now it is not clean or safe for both adults and children. Everywhere I go I see garbage on the streets, even though sometimes there’s a garbage bin right there for people to use. So I hope people will learn to not litter,” Ackeena said.

Candice Haughton

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