Kingston, Jamaica (JIS) — Prime Minister Portia Simpson has commended the volunteers who came out to work on the Rudolf Elder Park in Morant Bay, St Thomas, which was the National Labour Day project.
She said the strong turnout of persons, including opposing political representatives, sends a signal that “all need to stand in the interest of our children”.
The prime minister joined scores of residents, public officials, members of the private sector, and civic groups, in the rehabilitation of the park under the theme: ‘Labour of Love, Nurturing our Children’.
Scores of volunteers gathered from early in the morning, to paint, erect a perimeter fence, install concrete benches, tables, swings, slides, and plant flowers and trees, among other activities.
The prime minister used the occasion to once again declare the Government’s commitment to the protection of children.
“We do not want any child to be ignored; all should be taken care of. So anything to do with their education, and their care and protection, will always be given serious attention. I want to encourage communities to care for and protect the children,” she said.
For his part, Member of Parliament for Eastern St Thomas Dr Fenton Ferguson informed that he has committed J$5 million to continue work at the park “to ensure that it becomes a treasured recreational ground”.
“We have done all the design work for the park, and we are going to transform this park. It is going to become our own Emancipation Park in St Thomas. It is going to be a wonderful area for our people and our children,” he said, while calling on residents to protect the facility.
Acting Principal Director of Culture at the Ministry of Youth and Culture,
Dr Janice Lindsay, said the focus on protecting children “really made a difference for Labour Day 2015, as the theme really got people working”.
Corporal Donavon Gordon of the St. Thomas Police Community Safety Branch, said the Labour Day focus on children will boost measures to keep children safe.
Western St Thomas Member of Parliament James Robertson informed that some 20 projects were undertaken in his constituency through the Social Development Commission, including restoration of a bypass in the Mount Vernon/Jones Pen area “where we have a major breakaway.”