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Children Given the Lead Role in Year of the Child Activities

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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - Issues of child growth and development will take centre stage, as the Ministry of Health, Human Services and Family Affairs observes the “Year of the Child” from November 18th 2003 to October 2004.

During a press conference at the GIS Tuesday, held to provide details on activities earmarked for the year, Minister for Health, Human Services and Family Affairs, Honourable Damian Greaves said, notwithstanding that other Ministries like Gender Relations and Education have their roles to play as well, his ministry has the special responsibility to champion the cause of the child and as such will ensure that the activities planned for the year are successful.

Mr. Greaves emphasized the role that everyone should play in the protection and care of children. Greaves noted that while government is generally responsible for the children of the state, all and sundry ought to render their assistance at whichever level possible.

Mr. Greaves stated, that government has a central role to play in terms of providing services to the children, their care and protection as a national priority. He added that putting children first, is both an individual and collective responsibility.

“Our activities are not going to be adult focused. They are going to be children focused. Children are supposed to take the lead role and we will be there to facilitate what is going on. So we want to change St. Lucia for the children with the children.” Greaves said.

Activities to commemorate the “year of the Child” which begin from November 18th, include a televised address by Prime Minister, Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony, a national ecumenical service and school rally, a number of panel discussions dealing with children issues and tape recordings of voices of abused and neglected children relating their experiences.

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