With the Christmas Holiday season already in full swing, we all want to give back to our family, friends, and even strangers. Christmas is a loving and caring season in which families come together and give thanks for what they have in light of the birth of Jesus Christ into this world.
While Christmas is enjoyed by all ages, across the world, there is one group in particular who relish in the season of giving as many look forward to the gifts they receive—children. Children especially love Christmas time for the presents and the food and while many children grow up knowing that Christmas is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, others are unaware of the happiness that Christmas brings.
Many organizations and businesses have made it their responsibility to give back to communities during the Christmas Holiday season. Some give back in the form of packing and distribution of food, clothing, and essential items to the less fortunate while others institute programmes which will aid in the growth of children and benefit the wider public. Annually, the Child Development Agency has tasked families to take on a programme that aligns with their responsibility of giving back.
About the Child Development Agency
The Child Development Agency (CDA) is an established child protection organization which protects the rights of children and promotes policies and programmes in the interest of children. It is governed by laws and policies along with the Child Care and Protection Act in Jamaica and was launched in 2004. The CDA merged with the Child Services Division, Child Support Unit and Adoption Division and is now under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture.
There are approximately 4,700 children within fifty-eight facilities across Jamaica. The CDA has been doing well throughout the year. With some facilities to get donations summing $444,000 CAD, five wards of state getting the chance to tour France with sprinter Yohan Blake, and 137 children successful in GSAT Examinations, to name a few. The Child Development Agency remains committed to the building up of the Jamaican society through the empowerment and support of its children and families.
‘Take a Child Home for Christmas’ initiative
In the spirit of giving, the CDA is appealing to Jamaicans to be a part of the ‘Take a Child Home for Christmas’ initiative and welcome a child of the state into their homes for the Christmas. The fifteen year programme gives these children the chance to experience what it is like to share in such a joyful and festive season with persons who exude love for them and their family.
“These are normally children in state-run or privately owned facilities whom we want to give the opportunity to spend this time of the year in a family setting…. Help to bring joy to their lives this Christmas, because some of these children have no families outside of the care protection system.” – Robert Williams, regional director for the Child Development Agency South East Division.
For interested persons to apply, they must complete an application form and submit it to any of the Child Development Agency offices along with a valid government issued I.D., two references from a notary public and a passport photograph. Additionally, persons should not have a criminal record and background checks and home assessments are done prior.
Interested persons can contact the CDA at 876-948-2841-2 or visit any of the CDA offices island wide.
By Alexandra Daley