JIS: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is urging Jamaicans to be more loving, caring and understanding towards children.

 

He made the appeal, while addressing the Independence Day grand gala at the National Stadium in Kingston on August 6, where he called for an end to violence against children.

 

“Please don’t hurt our children, protect them from the storm. Help them, encourage them and if you haven’t done it yet, hug them and tell them that you love them,” the Prime Minister said, to loud cheers from the crowd.

 

In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Holness said violence as a means of correction, control and social interaction cannot be allowed to continue in Jamaica.

 

“While we are here celebrating our country, we want to deliver a message; a message of peace and love, a message of care and protection for our children, and a message to end violence in our country,” he noted.

 

The grand gala was staged by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, through the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC). The event, held under the theme ‘Youth Arising’, had a strong focus on the youth and included performances by some 1,000 children and young adults.

 

There was a flag display by uniformed groups accompanied by the massed bands of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF). Several local gospel, dancehall and reggae artistes also thrilled the patrons at the event.

 

The celebrations also featured the combined choirs of Nexus, Carifolk Singers, Las Voicers, and Melodiosas; and a ‘Rasta Corner’ with appearances by Capleton, the Rastafarian drummers, the Mystic Revelations of Rastafari, among others.

 

The event was in celebration of the country’s 54th year of Independence under the theme: ‘Let’s get together and feel alright’.

 

CAPTION: This boy and his mother were among the thousands of patrons enjoying the performances at the Independence Day grand gala at the National Stadium on Saturday, August 6.