BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, July 1, 2017 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris on Friday June 30 led his Cabinet colleagues in paying homage to children, parents and teachers who took part in this year’s Child Month March when it passed outside the Government Headquarters on Church Street starting from 12:15 pm.
As the Early Childhood Sector wound down its 33rd Child Month Celebration with the colourful march a Cabinet meeting was taking place at the Government Headquarters and according to the Prime Minister, Cabinet took a break to give support to the march.
“We were having a Cabinet meeting, but we thought that march was sufficiently important that Cabinet ought to be interrupted so that the teachers, the parents, the young children, all in society understand the high value, the high appreciation, the high score in which the Cabinet on a whole hold our young people,” said Prime Minister Harris.
He added: “And we think that the march is a wonderful demonstration of young people with their potential, with their hopes and their dreams fully intact and we want them to continue and to be nurtured in that environment. So let me put on record my profound appreciation to my colleagues who agreed that we should suspend the Cabinet to allow us to give the kind of support that was demonstrated today.”
The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Shawn Richards, who is the Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Early Childhood Education, being the Minister of Education, took part in the walk.
Prime Minister Harris said how pleased he was to see lots of parents both mothers and fathers in the march saying that as a government they would like to see the country’s children growing up knowing and receiving true love, attention, care and support of both biological parents and indeed of responsible significant adults in their lives.
“I think today demonstrates the bond between a parent and a child,” said Dr Harris in an interview after the march. “It is eternal and that bond must always be one of love, and so I want to commend all the parents who marched today, who thronged the streets, to show solidarity and support for children – for the present and the future of our country.
The Prime Minister who later crossed Church Street and stood outside the Government Printery to individually acknowledge parents and their children said: “I commend them because this is a time as we begin to think seriously about our national development and how the attitudes in particular of many of our young people could in fact put a pause on some of our development thrust. It is therefore crucial for their early years to be built upon the right foundation with the right values, for their well-being and the well-being of our beloved Federation.”
He said it was good that the family was being demonstrated, as the country needed strong families for stronger communities and for stronger country as a whole. He emphasised that for the family, the community, the society, and the country at large, everyone benefited when that most fundamental social unit, the family, was strongly built on love for each other and the love of God.
The theme for this year’s Child Month Celebration was ‘For Every Child, Early Moments Matter’ which Prime Minister Harris hailed, saying: “I want to underscore that – the early moments must be moments of love, of care and consideration by every adult for a child.”
He contrasted the theme with the efforts of some who lure young people into the use and abuse of drugs noting that those efforts were inimical to the supreme development of the country’s young people and as a government he called on those who were aiding and abetting the use and misuse of drugs by children and by the society as a whole to bring an end to those kinds of behaviour.
“We ask those who are creating a climate of fear and lawlessness to bring an end immediately to those practices,” said Dr Harris. “These practices by their nature undermine the fabric of the society and we need a strong society in which our children can be nurtured.”
He concluded: “The early moments are precious ones, and we want these precious little children to be raised in a St. Kitts and Nevis noted for its peace, its tranquillity, its safety and security. We want the efforts of all its responsible citizens to make it a prosperous one, so that our children inculcate the values that assist them to make positive and constructive development to our country and to our people for the benefit of generations to come.”