Ladies march to ‘Shatter the silence’
In an effort to combat the abuse against our nation’s children and “shatter the Silence”, 30 of the preselected Miss Jamaica World 2011 finalists joined forces with the Help JA Children Foundation to stage a road march and rally from the Bustamante Children’s Hospital to the Emancipation Park to champion the cause for Children’s rights. The Miss Jamaica World Organization was approached after a Sunday Observer Expose was published highlighting the wide levels of sexual abuse that is experienced by our nation’s children.
The Miss Jamaica World ladies, led by reigning MJW Danielle Crosskill, joined forces with local entertainers and celebrities including former Miss Jamaica World 2007 & 1st Runner-Up Miss Universe 2010 Yendi Phillipps, Bambino, Denyque and over 300 others including agencies such as CISOCA, Children’s First, UNESCO, other human rights agencies such as Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre, Jamaicans for Justice and the Miss Jamaica Universe ladies to lend their support.
Decked out in their blue and yellow Spartan Health Club t-shirts, the ladies walked through the streets of the corporate area chanting “Help our children, love our children, protect our children” as well as singing gems and songs the most popular being ‘I am a Promise.’ Motorists slowed to watch the march with some even tooting their horns to lend support to the marchers. “Children are very close to our hearts and oftentimes we have many ladies in the pageant who focus on children as their platform during the Miss Jamaica competition each year and so we thought it prudent that teaming up for such a cause was just a natural fit,” says Miss Jamaica World Pageant Director Regina Beavers.
At the Emancipation Park their numbers swelled as park goers, as well as others who were on their lunch break, joined the rally. They were told by advocate in charge of the Eve for Life Foundation, Joy Crawford, that 18 per cent of Jamaican children are born to girls younger than 18 years old. “Shatter the silence, and talk up, if you see something wrong,” urged Crawford whose group helps children and adults living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. She went on, “Every case that goes unreported is a life lost.”
The Spartan Health Club and the Miss Jamaica World Organization were among a wide cross-section of individuals and organizations, including, Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Children First, the Office of the Children’s Registry, UNICEF, Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ), Mico Community College, Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre, the University of the West Indies Guild of Students and the Miss Universe Jamaica Organization that supported the march and rally.