‘The voices of children matter’, Rev reminds Jamaicans
Excelsior Primary School students perform a song during the annual Child Month church service held at Eastwood Park Road New Testament Church of God on Sunday. (Photos: Karl McLarty)

A plea has been made for more attention to be given to the nation’s children in order to secure a brighter future for them as Child Month 2022 launched Sunday, celebrated under the theme, “Listen Up, Children’s Voices Matter”.

The appeal came from Reverend Kevin Page, national youth and discipleship director, New Testament Church, Jamaica, during his sermon at a Child Month church service at Eastwood Park New Testament in St Andrew.

Making reference to the Bible scripture Samuel 1:3, Page said, “The children’s voices matter because God partnered with a child to bring forth change in an entire nation. The voices of the children matter, because I see God declaring that this child is a child for the future. The voices of the children matter — the voice, you must understand is more than words. It is actually involving the children in decision making and matters that relate to them.

“The child’s best interest and well-being must be served. We have a duty to secure the best for our children. Enough food is in Jamaica, no child has to sleep hungry. The hungry child’s voice matters. There is enough clothing in Jamaica, no child must go unclothed. Enough medicine is in Jamaica that a child who has a sickness can be taken care of. Hear the voice of the children — autistic, orphan, destitute, those who are sad, lonely, their voices matter,” he said.

Kingston Mayor Delroy Williams and chairperson of the National Child Month Committee, Dr Pauline Mullings converse during the service.<strong id="strong-2">karl mclarty</strong>

At the same time, he called on religious organisations and agencies in childcare to have more regard for young boys.

“Two thousand of them each year go to prison and they are just boys. The dons captivate them and mentor them, give them guns, and bring them on gun moves. Can the church and the different agencies partner together and bring life and change to these young boys? They are not all bad, but these persons get to them before we get them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kingston Mayor Delroy Williams, who was also present at the service, shared that the first Sunday in May is usually sad.

He was making reference to the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Secret Gardens monument in downtown Kingston, which was held earlier that day.

Reverend Kevin Page gives the sermon at the Child Month church service on Sunday.<strong id="strong-3">karl mclarty</strong>

“It is always a very sad moment for us... because we have to keep in the consciousness and continue to raise the awareness of the challenges children face with respect to violence meted out towards them. We have to continue to work to the point where we rid the society of violence against children and until we reach that we will continue to do it as a society,” he said.

The monument was erected in 2008 to record the names of children killed under tragic circumstances. It ran out of space in 2017 and was expected to be extended for additional names.

Brittny Hutchinson

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