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Parenting Commission targets underserved communities for Child Month

Published:Tuesday | May 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Kaysia Kerr

Kaysia Kerr, president of the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), says greater focus must be placed at the grass-roots level in promoting Child Month, which is celebrated annually in the month of May.

Child Month 2018 is being observed under the theme 'AFFIRM Me'. A.F.F.I.R.M. is derived from acknowledge, friend, favour, influence positively, respect, and motivate.

"I know that a number of agencies and schools have done a good job in encouraging a theme for Child Month and leading activities in the different sectors," Kerr told The Gleaner yesterday.

"However, at a more parochial level, we would want to see more grass-roots organisation of activities that promote not just the theme, but the issues that surround children - child rearing and how, as a country, we need to not only recognise their worth during this period, but extend that recognition beyond Child Month," Kerr said.

"We need to get as parochial as possible so that it can really impact individual communities in a real way. A lot of times, the activities are concentrated in set areas, and, usually, it's in the urban areas. But we really want it (Child Month celebrations) to resonate in areas where the practices that involve children might be questionable," she declared.

Kerr disclosed that as part of playing its role, the NPSC would be partnering with the Nathan Ebanks Foundation to plan activities that would focus on the disabled community.

"We will be looking at children with special needs. We want to look at what is happening with that community and how we can come together to encourage and improve access," Kerr disclosed. "We have seen some improvement in how parents treat these children, but there are some who are still embarrassed or those who think that by hiding these children, it is their way of protecting them from harm," she said.