KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday July 26, 2017 – In Jamaica, the number of violent acts against children has gradually increased over the last decade. The rapid increase in child sexual abuse has been most alarming, making it an urgent national issue.
To help the Government agencies in Jamaica tackle this pressing challenge, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has funded an intervention to prevent sexual violence against children in the country. Part of the initiative is the development of a storybook, video and other resources to help children identify and report child abuse.
‘The Tribe – Break the Silence’ is an illustrated book and part of a package that includes an accompanying video with illustrations and sign language translation, and a teacher’s guide with a lesson plan. It was conceptualized and created by Jamaican company KQC Enterprises.
“We recognize that children, when provided with the right teaching, can play a great role in protecting themselves against abuse. Through BNTF, CDB is pleased to make an investment in helping children speak up against sexual abuse, and in supporting Government agencies and teachers to do more to prevent this abuse,” said George Yearwood, Acting Portfolio Manager, Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) at CDB.
The production of the book has been funded through the seventh cycle of CDB’s BNTF, which includes support for education in Jamaica. This intervention, in particular, targets youth at risk. It seeks to bolster the capacity of government agencies towards addressing the issues of sexual violence against children who are between eight and 12 years old. It aims to equip children with the requisite skills and knowledge to protect themselves.
A total of 1,200 books will be printed for distribution to primary schools with the assistance of Regional Education Officers. Books will also be donated to libraries and key agencies such as the Office of the Children’s Registry, the Child Development Agency, and the Office of the Children’s Advocate.
The storybook is part of a wider BNTF sub-project in Jamaica that supports training for special education needs coordinators; enhancement in literacy and numeracy; water hygiene and sanitation training; and maintenance training.
BNTF projects in Jamaica are administered by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund.