Parents urged to put aside differences to safeguard children; Nevis’ future
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS -- “Stop the abuse; protect our children!” was the message which rang out when Supervisor of the Family Division at the Social Services Department Mrs. Hallima Gresham-Jones, as she addressed a huge gathering of parents, grandparents guardians, preschoolers and Ministers of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), at a ceremony near the Cultural Centre, to herald in the Child Month Parade 2012 on June 22, 2012.
An impassioned Mrs. Gresham-Jones, who was the featured speaker, said the time had come for child abuse to end. The matter was clearly a burning issue for her which was captured in this year’s Child Month theme “Act Now, Break the Silence, Stop Child Abuse”. She said as the children’s guardian, they had to come together to safeguard the future of Nevis.
“We have to come together no matter who you vote for, no matter what church you go to, no matter how much money you have, if you have no money, if you have tons of money, we have to come together because these are our children and the children are our future.
“No sense in cussing one another. No child should be sexually abused in Nevis, No child should be physically abused in Nevis. Nevis is the Queen of the Caribbean and we must work together to make sure all of these beautiful children are safe,” she said.
Mrs. Hallima Gresham-Jones called on all to stop the hatred, crimes and gun violence and urged them to put their adult difference aside, come together to take the communities back.
“Nevis is the Queen of the Caribbean. We are the guardian angels for the children and we must stand together to make sure that our babies are safe. No more sexually abused children in Nevis. I don’t want to go take another child to the hospital; I don’t want to see another vaginal tear in a two year old child, enough!
“Don’t be scared! Don’t hate on one another, don’t listen to idle chit chat and negga business alright! Come together. If we can agree on one thing, let’s agree on the safety of the children. God bless you, let’s work, let’s do this,” she said.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education on Nevis Mrs. Lornette Queeley-Connor said she welcomed the show of support for the pre school students.
“I welcome you in the commitment that you are demonstrating here this morning. I am pleased to see such large numbers and it tells me a lot. It tells me that after today, when we would have pledged to act now to break the silence and to stop child abuse, that we will be serious with our commitment,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary also warned that child abuse took several different forms and every form was wrong.
“I want you as parents to remember that child abuse takes many different forms and it is not just about hitting a child. It is also about walking away from your child and usually at this stage we know that you support your children very, very much but by the time they get to primary school and high school, we forget them. That also is child abuse so we have to be careful.
“It is wrong in the sight of man, it is wrong in the sight of God. So as we match this morning, let us use this platform to remember that since we are saying we are acting now, that we are breaking the silence to stop child abuse we will be serious and we will do what we have to do to make this place a better place for all of us,” she said.