I was so disheartened to hear on the news recently that The Government is planning to commission additional work on a 2008 monument for hundreds of children who had died tragically across the island. The Secret Gardens Monument was established by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation as a reminder of the more than 450 children who were slain five years prior. We are now being told that since then the figures have climbed significantly and the monument simply has no more space to accommodate new names.
I am ashamed that this metallic bust of a weeping child is to be expanded as a lasting symbol of our collective failure to act. I find this most distressing, and I am struggling to understand how my Jamaica got to this point. How many more names will be added to the monument before we take action?
It is a sad state of affairs when a country cannot defend its children, and therefore I am calling on Jamaicans at home and abroad to join the struggle to end all forms of violence against them. As a start, clubs and groups must organise to lobby the government to pass new, tougher laws against violent crimes like murder and sexual abuse of a child to send a strong signal that we are serious about protecting our children – our future!
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