Popular doctor empowers state children at National Children’s Summit
The National Children's Summit saw over 1,200 wards of the state participate in powerful empowerment sessions.
General surgeon and social media influencer Dr Phillip Coombs has encouraged wards of the state to empower themselves through reading and education.
Coombs addressed over 1,200 children at the National Children’s Summit at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown, Kingston on Thursday.
Coombs told the children, aged between 12 and 17 that he took inspiration from American neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who came from a "unique background" and empowered himself through reading and education.
Dr Phillip Coombs
He said he was also encouraged to read by his mother, which helped shape him into being a medical doctor.
Coombs also urged the children to be the best at what they want to become in life. He told them not to limit themselves, while not allowing anyone to limit them.
The all-day event was hosted by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) in conjunction with the United States Development Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) under the theme, “Uplifting Jamaica”.
It was conceptualised by the Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP) who saw the need to create a forum for its members to better interact with their peers and to engage them on topical issues and other matters of concern.
National Children's Summit
Click the gallery for photos from the summit by Marlon Reid.
Minister with responsibility for Youth and Education, Karl Samuda, said the government is helping the children to identify ways by which they can be prepared to take their place in the society as they grow older.
Samuda told the children, "for you to be in a position to go on that path, you have to have a sense of confidence in who you are. We have to do everything in our power to provide the tools that will enable you to enjoy a level of self-confidence that you have the ability to achieve your goals in life."
Minister with responsibility for Youth and Education, Karl Samuda and CEO of CFSPA Rosalee Gage-Grey at the summit.
According to Rosalee Gage-Grey, CEO of CFSPA, the summit is being held 30 years since the United Nations agreed on the rights of the children.
Topics discussed at the summit were understanding human rights, the internet - possibilities and perils, recognition and motivational session for PEP/GNAT graduates, making education a priority, road towards independence and self-sufficiency, choosing my ideal career path and parenting a child with special needs.