Hear The Children’s Cry: A Response To The Heartbreaking Complex Of Crises Affecting Jamaican Children
Hear The Children’s Cry is Jamaica’s most vocal advocacy and support group, and is committed to the wellbeing and welfare of Jamaica’s children. The organization was launched in 2002, in direct response to a heartbreaking and alarming complex of crises which continue to face Jamaican children. Thousands of Jamaican youngsters continue to be the victims of violent crimes, to be traumatized by witnessing murder and other violent acts in their homes and communities.
They continue to be abused in many homes, and to suffer from neglect, abandonment, homelessness and exploitation by criminals, from abuse by uncaring and/or uninformed care givers, and from injustices resulting from inadequate and often inept essential national services.
The particular atrocity which precipitated the establishment of Hear The Children’s Cry by Founder child advocate Betty Ann Blaine and her associates was the shooting up of a children’s birthday party in the violence prone community of Kingston’s Greenwich Town. The innocent victims of hostilities between rival gangs, the young children were sprayed with bullets at what should have been a joyful occasion. One child was killed and a number were wounded, one very seriously.
Since then, Jamaican children have continued to face an alarming level of atrocities, and concerned citizens continue to be shocked at the vicious crimes so many of them are subjected to. According to the Planning Institute of Jamaica, young people are prime murder targets, with more than 1,500 children and teenagers killed during the 10 year period 2001-2011, and another 1,600 shot and wounded. (to be updated)
OUR FOUNDING LEADERSHIP TEAM: The six professionals who came together to launch Hear The Children’s Cry in 2002. They are, from left: Celta Kirkland, Mike Watson, Alice Watson, Founder Betty Ann Blaine, Acting Executive Director Maxine Taylor Cooper and Nigel Cooper.