Jam-packed May-Kid Style!
The Ministry of Community Affairs and Housing, in conjunction with the Department of Children and Family Services, is busy preparing for Child Month which is observed annually in May. This year's theme is Loving our Children through Today's Challenges.
Minister of Community Affairs and Housing the Hon. Mike Adam, MBE, JP noted that this year's theme is particularly timely considering the difficulties that the community is currently facing.
"Child Month has taken on even more significance and meaning as today, in our fast-paced lives, we struggle to strike a healthy balance between the demands of work and the responsibilities of parenthood. At the same time, the society is trying to cope with growing financial pressures, increasing levels of crime and concerns about safety.
"Loving, encouraging and supporting your children through these challenges is of paramount importance," Minister Adam said.
Director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Deanna Look Loy, explained that Child Month 2010 will focus on raising awareness and educating families about how to cope in difficult times.
"Many parents, for example, are facing economic pressure right now and may have to make some hard financial decisions which could impact their ability to care for their children.
"However, the message we want to send to families during Child Month is that you can maintain quality care for your children despite the challenges," she added.
With the assistance of partnering agencies and supported by experts from the Health Services Authority, the DCFS will host a number of activities geared towards assisting parents with meeting their children's nutritional, health, safety and leisure needs.
Mrs. Look Loy further noted that during Child Month the DCFS will be focusing on raising awareness about and encouraging people to get involved with their foster care programme, by providing their contact information to the DCFS and listing themselves as potential foster parents.
"An important part of loving our children through the challenges is recognising when families are not coping with the pressures of life and require an intervention in the best interests of the child. We therefore, ask persons to consider reaching out to a child in need of love and support through the foster care programme," she said.
Detailing Child Month activities, Chairperson Cassandra Parchment said the committee has developed events to educate and highlight children and acknowledge the roles of parents and care-givers.
Against this background, an exemplary community member who has volunteered their time for the betterment of children will receive the Child Month Award during the annual Child Month Church Service to be held on Sunday, 2 May at the Savannah United Church.
Ms Parchment added that a key change this year is that the Week of the Young Child, normally scheduled for the last week of April, has been incorporated into Child Month activities.
"The Week of the Young Child will now officially begin on Sunday 23 May at the Bodden Town Webster Memorial Church," she explained.
Also this year, a new event, the Child Month Youth Fest will be introduced. It is a talent showcase for young people under 18 or attending high school locally.
"This will be an exciting showcase featuring song and dance competitions as well as a battle of the bands. It will be held on Saturday, 28 May at the Lion's Centre," she said.
She also noted that May will see the return of popular children's events such as district fun days and the annual fundraising Child Month Walk-Run, scheduled for Saturday, 22 May at Pedro St. James.
"Also back this year will be Board Games Night on Thursday, 6 May at Books by the Bay, Grand Harbour and the Pyjama Party scheduled for Camana Bay on Monday, 24 May.
For a complete list of Child Month and Week of the Young Child events, locations and times, visit www.gov.ky.