Friday 22 June, 2018

MoBay charity to protect children, elderly launched on Women’s Day

Joy Robinson, a founding member of Sarah's Children.

Joy Robinson, a founding member of Sarah's Children.

A new international charity organisation has been established with the aim of protecting children and the elderly in Jamaica.

The Montego Bay-based Sarah’s Children was launched at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in the western city during an event to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8.

The organisation will work closely with the Child Protection Agency in relation to preventing child abuse, providing vital services and referral for abused children, and making life more comfortable for the elderly, especially those who are disabled.

Sarah’s Children, led by journalist and community activist, Janet Silvera, was started in honour of her mother, Sarah Darling-Findlay, who expressed delight that such a tribute was bestowed while still alive.

Founding member of the organisation, Joy Robinson disclosed that Sarah’s Children will be incorporated as an international  charitable organization and an application will be made for tax exempt status under Section 5019c)(3) of the IRS Code in the United States. This would allow for tax exempt donation from the diaspora. “This can be a very powerful tool that we can and will utilize in order to raise funds for the organisation,” she said.

“We believe we must be part of the change we desire. Sarah’s Children is just that. Let us now move forward in changing the life of one person at a time and each of us being part of that bigger change we desire,” said the Maryland based attorney-at-law.

Speaking at the launch event, Montego Bay businesswoman, Kareena Mahbubani, said that among other things, Sarah’s Children would serve to help shatter the silence surrounding child abuse. Pointing to published research on the topic, she highlighted the fact that in these scenarios, children are inflicted with wounds that sometimes never show on their bodies but which are deeper and more hurtful than wounds that bleed.

“Jamaica has a deep, underlying issue of sexual abuse,” she asserted, noting that Sarah’s Children, aims to disrupt and contribute to uprooting the vile phenomenon.

She added that: “In order to do something in an effective way, we need to create awareness and this can only be accomplished by sharing the solutions of prevention and education with more people. This, in turn, builds momentum and over time, changes the way our country and culture cares for, protects and nurtures our children.”

Among the strategies she proposed is for more persons to educate themselves and talk about the issues as well as to report instances of suspected child abuse to the Police and other relevant entities such as the Child Protection Agency.

In making her commitment to be involved in the work of the charity and social support organisation, Mahbubani she thought of the “beautiful, innocent and perfect” children of Jamaica, who have no one to advocate for them, children to whom she wanted to reach out and to be there for them.

Sarah’s Children has ambassadors throughout the diaspora in the USA, Canada, the UK, Dubai, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait.