Children are full of life. Living in an imaginative world with no worries, they teach you how to be happy. Their experiences, in play or at school, help them understand the world and let them grow as responsible human beings.
A child’s future is shaped by his present. But what good will the future be if his present is full of hardships?
The environment in which a child grows up has a crucial role to play in his development. Thus, every society should make sure that its children are taken proper care of and allowed the privilege to exercise the basic rights.
But sadly, this is not a universal phenomenon! Today, in this age, we still have such places where children are deprived of the basic amenities. Unfortunately, children in some parts of the world are not entitled to education; they live in poverty; and have to face various social evils.
The plight of Jamaican children!
The island country of Jamaica is one where children are subject to all sorts of oppression. Though, it is a tourist destination and has progressed much in that field, it has failed its own children.
The children of Jamaica continue to live in poverty. Most of them do not get the opportunity to complete their studies, as a result of which they have a tough time getting good jobs. Many of these children become victims of sexual abuse and are forced into prostitution.
The obstacles to progress
- Poverty: A major problem in Jamaica is poverty. No doubts the country is excelling in tourism. But the real picture is distorted. Jamaica has a high rate of unemployment, and much of its population is living in poverty.
- With less or absolutely no resources to survive on, people indulge in unethical jobs and tasks. The unguided youth is very much prone to drugs, crime and sexual exploitation.
- This problem is also faced by homeless children who always live under the threat of exploitation.
- Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation is a very common and evil issue prevailing in the Jamaican society. Child abuse is a common problem in Jamaica, with cases being reported of rapes and sexual abuse by family and friends.
- Prostitution is another social evil in Jamaica. With growing tourism, more women and children are forced into prostitution.
- Sexual exploitation leaves the child traumatised, also causing unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
To help these children in times of misery, voluntary organisations are playing a major role. These non-governmental organisations work with the aim of providing a secure and happy life to the children of Jamaica.
The main objectives of these organisations are:
- Providing support and protection to children who have been abused, abandoned or have some disability.
- Organising seminars and programmes to spread awareness on child abuse and prevent it.
- Encouraging children and parents to report cases of rape and abuse.
- Providing quality education to all underprivileged children and spread awareness about the importance of education for a bright and better future.
- Let us talk about some organisations that work tirelessly to provide care and support to the Jamaican children and how they are helpful to them!
Hear the Children’s Cry
Hear the Children’s Cry is a voluntary organisation that has been working for over a decade now to provide necessary guidance to children who have suffered misery.
The problem of missing children is not new to Jamaica. Children go missing every day and are forced into prostitution; sexually exploited and abused, and even murdered.
Hear the Children’s Cry launched a Missing Children’s Support Programme under the policies of which it provides counselling to the families of the children who have gone missing and also to those children who have returned.
They publish photos and details of the children who have gone missing every day.
Caribbean Education Foundation (CEF)
Caribbean Education Foundation or CEF works towards providing quality education to the underprivileged children of Jamaica.
In Jamaica, primary education is free, but higher education is costly and cannot be afforded by everyone. As a result, not all children get the opportunity to complete their studies. This leads to unemployment which in turn forces people to engage in different sort of illegal activities.
The CEF aims to provide education to children who are not financially well-off. This will open opportunities for them and make them capable of surviving on their own.
The children’s voluntary organisations in Jamaica are a ray of hope for all those suffering from the social evils. These organisations work with the objective of providing support and guidance to the Jamaican children in need of help and building a better society.