#KINGSTON, April 17 (JIS): The annual Child Month celebration in May will look a little different this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With Jamaicans instructed to avoid mass gatherings as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus, activities have been scaled back with some events, including the national church service, to be held virtually.
Chair of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), Dr. Pauline Mullings, said that although the activities have been significantly modified there will still be opportunities for parents, caregivers and the general public to celebrate the nation’s children.
She noted that the theme for the month, ‘Unplug Negativity, Connect Positivity… Think!’ encourages persons to “use this period to really get to know and be more of a positive influence on their children”.
Dr. Mullings, who was speaking at the virtual launch of Child Month 2020 on Wednesday (April 15), said that the theme was selected to reflect “what is happening withour children, who are spending most of their time at home because of the closure of schools” and are spending more time online.
“We want to encourage persons to find more productive ways to utilise the technology which we possess, without being automatons and losing the human touch, and to use the technology to build bridges, not drive wedges,” she noted.
“In this ‘infodemic’ atmosphere, let us unplug falsehood, panic, fear, discrimination and other negatives, and connect to truth, accuracy, helpful and reassuring information; connect to each other and, most importantly, connect to God,” she added. Child Month activities will begin on Sunday, May 3, with a national virtual church service at the Port Antonio Baptist Church in Portland starting at 10:00 a.m., which will be streamed live.
Churches across the island are also being encouraged to make their services child-centred throughout the month of May.
National Children’s Day will be observed on Friday, May 15 and Jamaicans are being encouraged to wear sunshine yellow on the day, whether they are staying at home, or going out as an essential service worker.
Leading up to Children’s Day, young people, aged six to 17, will have an opportunity to share videos or photographs, showcasing their talent in song, poetry, or visual art under the Child Month theme. The creative pieces should be submitted via email to email@example.com by Friday, May 8.
On National Children’s Day, the videos and photographs will be featured on the NCMC Face Book page (@ncmcja), where members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite up to May 22 at 6:00 p.m.
The entry with the most likes will be declared winner of the popular vote.
The month of activities will culminate with a National Day of Prayer on Wednesday, May 27 at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester. Church administrators islandwide are being asked to invite their members to offer special prayers for the nation’s children on the day.
Lead sponsors for Child Month 2020 are GraceKennedy Limited and the National Baking Company Limited.
JIS NEWS BY JUDITH A. HUNTER
New License Plates rolled out for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, December 6, 2022 – The long-awaited new license plates for the Turks and Caicos have arrived, and notable changes have been made to them. The new license plates were gazetted to come into effect on December 1st, along with the new rules regarding tints. Wilbur Caley, Head of the Department of Motor Vehicles, shared the updated designs with Magnetic Media.
Each inhabited island now has their own specific plate, and so too do the highest public officers in the country, including the Governor and his Deputy; the Premier and his Deputy; Speaker; Attorney General; Opposition Leader; and all Ambassadors, Ministers and MPs.
The island-specific plates apply to all private vehicles, charter vehicles and taxis. The new Grand Turk plates feature a cactus on a green background; the North Caicos plates feature; Providenciales plates have what appears to be Grace Bay Beach; Middle Caicos plates show a native basket weaving; Salt Cay shows a depiction of a TC Islander working the salt flats and South Caicos has a red lobster on an orange background.
New plates are also in store for company vehicles, rentals and car dealers.
All drivers in the TCI must get these new plates affixed to their vehicles. Caley explained that over 16,000 pairs were in stock, and the DMV had 4,000 more on the way.
The DMV has had trouble with residents not outfitting their vehicles with the proper plates before. The public has had trouble with the DMV not having sufficient plates in stock, waiting months to be handed a plate.
The Department had explained those days of shortages are in the past, they now have sufficient plates for both front and back end tagging of vehicles. It is also touted as being part of a crime prevention strategy by Police.
Back in June, Caley had told Magnetic Media that an estimated 3,000 vehicles were driving around the islands with incorrect plates; an offence which incurs a $300 fine.
Residents without license plates have roughly a year to apply for and affix the new plates to their vehicles. Residents must do so between December 1st 2022, and November 30th 2023.
Barbados to host the 12th staging of the Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM)
By Sherrica Thompson
#Barbados, December 6, 2022 – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit (CU), in collaboration with its partners, will be hosting the 12th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) from December 7-9 at the Savannah Beach Resort & Spa in Barbados.
The event is being delivered under the theme: “CDM Road to Resilience: Checkpoint 2022 – Advancing a Risk-based Multi-hazard Approach during COVID-19 & Beyond” and is scheduled to bring together over 1,000 delegates in person and online.
The conference will also be focusing on several matters throughout its duration. These include:
- Facilitating knowledge exchanges on pathways to resilience using a risk-based multi-hazard approach.
- Highlighting progress towards the achievement of CDM results within the priority areas of Institutional Strengthening, Knowledge Management, Sector Mainstreaming and Community Resilience.
- Showcasing relevant research and applicable tools for the advancement of CDM in the region
- Highlighting challenges and opportunities for CDM based on lessons learned from COVID-19 and the multi-hazard environment in the Caribbean
- Providing a forum for the engagement and empowerment of youth in supporting the DRM agenda
- Strengthening DRM capabilities of CDM Stakeholders
Dominica VOTED today
#Dominica, December 6, 2022 – Approximately 81,000 citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica were registered to vote for a new government today in the country’s general election. A total of 45 candidates were on the ballots across the 21 constituencies.
The Dominica Labour Party (DLP) had a six-seat lead in the National Assembly as they were unopposed in six constituencies. The DLP, Team Unity Dominica and several independent candidates competed in the elections.
However, the country’s main opposition parties, the United Workers Party and Dominica Freedom Party, boycotted the elections. Neither of the parties had a candidate contesting in the elections. Polls closed at 5 pm. The country is now waiting to see who will be announced as its leader.
(CARICOM) sent Election Observation Mission to oversee Dominica’s election
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has sent the CARICOM Election Observation Mission (CEOM) to monitor Dominica’s General Elections on Tuesday, December 6.
The CARICOM Election Observation Mission proposes to meet with leaders of political parties, the electoral officials and other stakeholders of Dominica and will monitor the voting process, including the opening of the poll, the casting of votes, the closing of the poll and the counting of the ballots.
The Team arrived in Dominica between December 2-3 and will depart on December 8.
Leader of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP), Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, last month announced a snap election two years before the constitutional deadline.
The snap poll has received backlash from opposition parties who have announced that they will boycott the elections.
The opposition parties have also been calling on supporters to protest the polls and the international community to not recognise the government that emerges after this Tuesday’s election.
OAS Election Observers also welcomed in Dominica ahead of national poll
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, welcomed the representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) election observer mission for a courtesy call at the Office of the Prime Minister on Saturday, December 3, 2022.
Former Prime Minister of Bahamas Perry Christie, the chief of the Electoral Mission of OAS in Dominica, met with OAS specialists to discuss the current status of the electoral organization, technology & justice, political finance & women’s participation in the electoral process.
Furthermore, Perry Christie heard the perspectives of the members of the Electoral Reform Coalition on the electoral process in Dominica.
He met with others to listen to their concerns about the upcoming snap general elections. The Chief of the Electoral Mission of the OAS in Dominica met with the Political Leader of Team Unity Dominica, Carlos Charles, to hear his impressions regarding the General Elections.
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