Human Services Ministry launches Every Child Safe campaign
─ culminating activities for Child Protection Week
In further tightening its grip on the issues surrounding child abuse in Guyana, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security has launched the ‘Every Child Safe’ campaign that will seek to do more than just make information available to the public, but that will see a personal and consistent check-in with members of communities all across Guyana.
Launched on Saturday, September 25, 2021, it was the culmination of activities for Child Protection Week which was observed this year under the theme, “Together, Let’s Keep Children Safe.”
It’s a three-year campaign that will allow the Ministry, through the CPA, to move through the country and work with communities in a very personal way. Persons will be trained on how to detect if a child is being abused and what actions to take if they do come across cases.
“These individuals will become essential partners of ours, so that wherever child abuse rears its ugly head, we will be able to know because there are people out there as our eyes and ears. Perpetrators will have the eyes of an entire community on them, so no one can escape that kind of scrutiny,” subject minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud explained.
This partnership will see heightened vigilance on child abuse in communities and people will now be aware of crimes that they should look out for and how they should report cases of child abuse utilizing the 914 hotline and all the other avenues available to them.
“It is an important partnership because it is moving beyond the realm of public awareness. It is actually galvanizing members of the public to join us in keeping children safe,” Minister Persaud further commented.
Persons will not just be trained on the subject, but CPA officers will be going back to check if the training is being applied in the villages. “Protecting children requires the participation, passionate advocacy and commitment of every person. We know these communities will eventually become safe zones because residents have pledged to be part of the campaign,” she remarked.
Having visited several communities across the country to launch ‘Every Child Safe’ Minister Persaud said she is happy that so many persons are interested in being a part of the campaign which allows the Ministry to have a strong partnership with people of all walks of life within communities all bound by the common goal of eradicating child abuse and keeping children safe.
The Ministry will partner with UNICEF and hopes to partner with other agencies and entities to move this effort forward, and as it makes its way community by community, it will be posting schedules of places that are to be visited.
Meanwhile, the Ministry, over the past week, rolled out a series of Public Service Announcements and other initiatives in observance of Child Protection Week. One of them was the ‘Sip N Paint’ event that saw 25 parents/guardians and their children coming together for an art exercise.
“It encourages a bonding experience where they use art which I feel is very expressive, creative and relaxing and also if you are to assess paintings and art, it gives you an insight into how people think and their mental state. It gives them the opportunity to say what it means to them when they speak about child safety,” Dr. Persaud commented at the event.
Parents too appreciated the gesture. “At a time when we’re so busy, this event brings us together to do something. At home, we may barely spend a few minutes doing something, but here, we’re able to actually spend some quality time together,” one guardian, who recently gained three months custody of her great niece, commented.
Another participant, who was there with her grandchild, said the event teases the brain and helps parents and guardians to know how to work with their children at home.
Yet another participant, mother to two boys, ages three and four, offered that even though they may not do a good job with their art piece, they’re having so much fun doing it together.