It is so heart-rending to see the reports each night of toddlers and teenagers gone missing.
The gruesome murder of three minors in recent weeks leads one to ask, where is the love for our children?
A child is to be afforded love, care and protection by their parents/guardians and the wider society. This love, care and protection seems to exist only in theory, as the children are used and abused in all the ways one can think of both in and outside of the home.
It is easy to say that children are “bad” and they should be placed in State care when the reason for them being “bad” is the neglect of their parents/guardians and a wicked and uncaring society. ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
Children live what they learn, directly or indirectly; they are like sponges soaking up everything to be used at a time convenient to them. It should be the nation’s business to nurture children and steer them along the right path. It cannot be OK to “see and blind and hear and deaf” when a child is seen after hours in a park, on the waterfront, on a bus in a compromising position with another child or adult. It cannot be business as usual when more and more children are begging at traffic lights, charged for criminal offences, featured in sex videos, or becoming parents.
It does not take Einstein or Newton to see that lack of care and attention to children equals disaster for the 2030 vision. In order for us to have a desired Jamaica, priority should be placed on addressing the root of that which produces the undesired outcome. What is needed is a collective effort starting at the home, on to the school, then church and community will take up the baton. When adults return to showing love and respect for each other, then care and protection for our children will become second nature. So as we strive to achieve a Jamaica where it is safe to live, do business, and raise families, let us place emphasis on the young and vulnerable among us.
Let us see each child as God’s gift and treat them accordingly.