February 6, 2023

Cayman Islands Child Month opens with Annual Church Service

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Child Month began with a packed church service at the Cayman Islands Baptist Church on Pedro Castle Road, Sunday, 30 April 2017.

Central to the service were remarks, in keeping with this year’s theme “Our Children Today and Tomorrow,” by Minister for Community Affairs, Youth and Sports, Hon. Osbourne Bodden. The Minister reminded the congregation of the community’s collective duty of care towards the children of the Cayman Islands and mentioned the 22 child-centred programmes organised by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to celebrate the observance.

“Throughout May, my Ministry aims to focus specifically on teenagers by gearing our resources and projects to target issues they face,” he said.

“We are hosting a Youth Empowerment Conference named #IAM2017. The conference will help 100 teens foster a strong social and cultural identity. It will also allow them to develop leadership and empowerment skills that will prepare them for the future.”

The Youth Minister mentioned the hosting of a Teen Maze “to challenge youngsters on how to tackle real situations they may face. Issues they will discuss and find solutions to include underage drinking, cyber bullying and illegal bike riding.”

Minister Bodden then promoted the upcoming Teen Panel discussion and a public education session on healthy relationships. He advised that this year’s Child Month will encourage “families to actively engage in quality family-time by planning regular “Tech-Free Nights.”

Mr. Bodden announced this year’s Child Month awardee and gave Tazmar Dawkins a plaque. The Year 10 John Gray High School student received a laptop for his outstanding community service record from Ministry’s Chief Officer Ms. Dorine Whittaker.

As well as excelling at academics, athletics and music, Tazmar is an active member of his church and an enthusiastic member of the Caring Ministry and Church Hospitality team. He is also the church’s chief drummer and helps monitor pre-schoolers during break times.

As a Youth Department member Tazmar advertises upcoming events in Youth Services Programmes. He has been training with the Red Cross Peer Leadership Programme since November 2016, and is a member of the newly-formed Leos Club at his school.

The Under-17 National Basketball team member is raising funds toward minor projects at John Gray. He is also a member of the JGHS band and has represented the school at external music and speech choral performances.

Sunday’s Child Month service, led by Pastor Randy von Kanel, also included a number of children’s choir and ministry performances and the sermon by 18-year-old Duvonchez Chambers.

For more information about Child Month activities contact Pat Hanlan at DCFS on 949-0290.

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IMAGE: Child Month

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