You know that May is celebrated as Child Month in Jamaica, but do you know how that came to be? The National Child Month Committee has been around since 1953 – that’s even before Jamaica became an independent nation! The NCMC’s mission is “to use the month of May, recognized nationwide as Child Month, to educate the public about the needs of children and articulate what each of us can do to help.”
We recently reached out to committee chairperson Dr Pauline Mullings to find out more about this organisation. Read on!
- When was the NCMC formed and why? The National Child Month Committee (NCMC) was formed in 1953. Lady Foote, wife of the then Governor Foote felt that there was a need for the nation to take time out to focus on issues that affect the nation’s children.
- The NCMC is integral to the planning of national Child Month initiatives. Can you give us some insight into how each year’s theme is selected? The theme is selected based on any social issues that we realize is affecting the children in a negative way.
- This year’s theme is ‘Parents Take Responsibility: Break the Cycle.’ What is the reasoning behind this theme? The present generation, in terms of their behaviour and attitudes, the way they have been abused, physically, sexually and emotionally, and their general disregard for authority is a result of poor and irresponsible parenting. The Committee strongly feels that if parents would act responsible and carry out their jobs as God expects them to, we will be able to reproduce children who would become better parents and put an end to this dreadful cycle.
- What has the response to this theme been like? Overwhelming!
- Can you tell us briefly about some of the committee’s work outside of Child Month? We conduct workshops on request, act as speakers and presenters at different forums, lobby on children’s issues and give guidance and counselling to children in crisis.