June 14, 2021

Child Month Church Service

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Cayman Islands Child Month Church Service & Child Month Award

GRAND CAYMAN (GIS) – The Department of Children and Family Services’ (DCFS) Child Month 2018 observances, themed “Rise Up and A.f.f.i.r.m” (Acknowledge, Friend, Favour, Influence, Respect, and Motivate our children), began with a church service at Church of God Chapel, Walkers Road, George Town on Sunday, 29 April.

The attendees included His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Anwar Choudhury, Councillors Barbara Connolly for Education and Austin Harris for Community Affairs, George Town MLA Kenneth Bryan, Ministry of Community Affairs Chief Officer Teresa Echenique, DCFS’s Director Felicia Robinson and staff, as well as children from Maples House and Children and Youth Services Foundation (CAYS).

Mrs. Robinson gave an impassioned address. She mentioned the community’s collective responsibility in valuing and supporting children, and called on adults to model for children: respectable relationships, how to deal with conflict, how to manage success and failure and how to appreciate that compassion and empathy are not weaknesses but essential building blocks of character and human greatness.

The Director announced Zolla Jones as the Child Month 2018 Award recipient. She commended the 14-year-old, who is Cayman Prep and High School’s Key Club President, for embodying the spirit of the award, citing the student’s extensive voluntary service accomplishments and strong academic standing. Zolla, who was chosen to address the United Nations General Assembly in March during a Model United Nations conference in New York, has undertaken 156 hours of recorded voluntary work since last September.

The Year 9 pupil was presented with a laptop computer by Councillor Harris and a plaque by the Chief Officer.

In her acceptance speech, Zolla thanked the Department for the honour and gave special acknowledgement to her former Information Communications Technology teacher and school’s Key Club Advisor, Miss Allison Smith, for continued her support.

Zolla accepted the award “on behalf of the many young people who volunteered locally” and urged others to similarly combine academic endeavour with community service.

Mr. Choudhury in his Child Month remarks congratulated this year’s award recipient and encouraged young people to invest in their communities while keeping informed about humanitarian issues beyond our shores.

The celebratory service included a pre-service performance by Triple C School’s Steel Breeze pan band headed by Mr. Earl La Pierre. The Child Month service was also notable for the prominent role played by children throughout, who included the Master of Service D’Vonte Joseph, the Vessels of Workship dance group and the Youth Praise Choir.

Pastor Alson Ebanks gave closing remarks and benediction to conclude the service.

For further details of Child Month’s extensive events calendar, visit the DCFS Facebook page and the department’s website [email protected]

IMAGES: Captions and pictures by Elphina Jones, GIS
CMChurch1: Child Month 2018 recipient, Zolla Jones,14, gave an inspirational acceptance speech on joining Director of Children & Family Services on the stage.
CMChurch2: The Youth Praise Choir impressed attendees.
CMCHurch3: (L-r): His Excellency the Governor Mr. Anwar Choudhury, Councillor Barbara Connolly, MLA Kenneth Bryant, Chief Officer Teresa Echenique, DCFS Director Felicia Robinson, Child Month 2018 recipient Zolla Jones and Deputy Director DCFS Paulinda Mendoza-Williams enjoy steel pan music before the opening Child Month church service.
CMChurch4: The Vessels of Workship dance group entertained attendees at the special service.
CMChurch5: Department of Children & Family Services Director Felicia Robinson gave a well-received Child Month address.
CMChurch7: Noah Hill, Malcolm Hill and their father Darryl attended last Sunday’s service.
CMChurch8: Councillor Austin Harris presented Zolla Jones with a laptop and Chief Officer Teresa Echenique gave her the Child Month 2018 plaque.

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