Who Celebrates the World Day?
Break the Silence at Hillview College
The United Nations Day of Prayer and Action for Children by Hillview College, Tunapuna, Trinidad and Tobago, was commemorated on November 11, 2011 in support of the Break the Silence: end child sexual abuse campaign (a project of the Institute for Gender Development Studies, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus).
The event brought together the students and staff of the Hillview College and was held in collaboration with the NGO Random Acts of Good Deeds. The event followed the announcement by the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to support this UN initiative. The students planned, developed and presented all aspects of the program. Students from the upper school researched and delivered oral presentations on various themes about child sexual abuse. They also used the opportunity to address other important issues which may affect them. Bryan Mohan presented on Leadership and being socially conscious. Sangeeta George presented on Bullying and its effects. Kimberly Gabriel presented on effects of rape. The National Anthem was played on the pan by the Hillview College Steel Ensemble. Students from lower school led an interfaith service to begin the day’s events.
Jessel Ramdass and Stefan Wilson were the Chairs of the event. Kindale Ellis coordinated lower school students in their presentation of the UN Rights of the Child to mark Universal Children’s Day on 20 November. From one student Ricky Amar, member of the NGO Random Acts of Good Deeds and child spokes person for the Break the Silence Campaign and Principal Mr. Leslie Mahase led the school in taking the pledge to be a voice in the campaign against child sexual abuse.
The program concluded with the students expressing messages of hope and doing a mural on the walls of the school’s basketball court. Anna Maria Mora, Counseling Psychologist who was the guest speaker, delivered an address on child sexual abuse. In attendance were representatives of the UWI, Institute for the Gender Development Studies. Principal of Hillview College, Mr Leslie Cyril Mahase and volunteer Nikita Mohansingh.
Report from UNICEF:
UNICEF’s partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development, Ministry of People and Social Development, Ministry of Education, Citizen Security Programme at Ministry of National Security, and Institute of Gender and Development Studies at University of West Indies, St. Augustine Campus resulted in national level awareness of the Day of Prayer and Action for Children. High level lobbying resulted in the endorsement of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who called upon key stakeholders – government, civil society, religious communities and the private sector – to forge closer collaboration in order ‘to make violence against children a thing of the past.’ See http://dayofprayerandaction.org/news/world-day-news-and-media/155-prime-minister-of-trinidad-and-tobago-endorses-the-worl-day
Keywords: Caribbean, Trinidad, Tobago, Violence Against Children, local NGO