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Hear The Children Cry - Newest Member of the Global Missing Children Network Jamaica

Missing Children’s Support Programme in Jamaica

A formal launch ceremony was held on April 29, 2009, at the Swallowfield Primary and Junior High School, the school attended by the late Ananda Dean. The Missing Children’s Support Programme in Jamaica is working closely with the Police, the Government of Jamaica, the media, and other stakeholders, to ensure that the serious matter of Jamaica’s missing children will be provided the attention and emphasis it deserves.

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Name : Kayler Edwards
Age : 14
Height : 168 cms
Status : Missing
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Name : Khedeisha Burnett
Age : 17
Height : 170 cms
Status : Missing
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Name : Rodean Kelly
Age : 17
Height : 162 cms
Status : Missing
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Name : Brandy Smith
Age : 14
Height : 157 cms
Status : Missing
Children activities by Hear The Children Cry

To fortify and extend its critical child advocacy and programme efforts, and to accelerate progress towards the overall goal of protecting all Jamaican children and ensuring them a positive and nurturing environment, the Hear the Children’s Cry established its Missing Children’s Support Programme in March 2009. Jamaica Yellow Pages is providing support for the programme for the first year, as well as providing office space for it.

A formal launch ceremony was held on April 29, 2009, at the Swallowfield Primary and Junior High School, the school attended by the late Ananda Dean. The Missing Children’s Support Programme is working closely with the Police, the Government of Jamaica, the media, and other stakeholders, to ensure that the serious matter of missing children will be provided the attention and emphasis it deserves.

Goals & Objectives of The Missing Children’s Support Programme

  • To establish a dedicated entity within the framework of Hear The Children’s Cry, to focus specifically on the problem of missing children.
  • To serve as a Resource Pool and a Clearinghouse for data on missing children.
  • To monitor and track the progress made regarding missing children.
  • To work as a liaison between the Police, the media, relevant stakeholders and the citizenry.
  • To provide critical support services for victims and their families. Those services will include:
    • Counseling
    • Networking with Police, Government, media for support for families
    • Assisting with legal/court proceedings if necessary
    • Providing advice
  • To work with the media to highlight and to engage in public education surrounding the issue of missing children.
  • To support public mobilization campaigns.

Trends observed in data from 2008 and 2009, provided by the National Intelligence Bureau and the Constabulary Communications Network, suggest the following:

  • The majority of missing children are females between 12 and 18 years old. (There were some as young as 7 years old.)
  • Most go missing from home, or on the way to or from school.
  • Most missing children are reported by a parent or close family member.

Since early 2008, The Hear the Children’s Cry Committee has been focusing on the growing problem of missing children. The organization played a lead role in the case of missing (later found murdered) 11 year old Ananda Dean, and recommended to the Government that it undertake a ‘Rapid Response’ Programme called the ‘Ananda Alert’ in her memory. The Government has adopted the recommendation, and Hear the Children’s Cry was asked to sit on the National Task Force on Child Protection, spearheaded by the Ministry of Local Government.