Plans for a Child Helpline

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ZIZ News — Stakeholders from various sectors came together at the Marriott Resort on Thursday morning for a meeting focusing on the establishment of a Child Helpline.

This is a joint project between The Ripple Institute and Child Helpline International (CHI).

Dr. Izben Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Ripple Institute, said methods used in the past to influence children can’t be applied today.

“We need to embrace international developmental organizations; we need to use technological tools. The kids are on their phones; we need to do all the things that they do and access them the way that they need to be accessed. We should be the players that make the difference in their lives using the tools that they know how to use,” he said.

Magdelina Aguilar, CHI’s Programme Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted that the institute has established help lines that have reached 126 million contacts but there is more that can be done.

“For all those contacts there were children who were trying to reach a helpline and couldn’t be answered. Either the child helpline couldn’t pick up the phone calls or there was no child helpline in that country. So the reason that we’re here today is to make sure that in the next publication that we have we can account for a child helpline in St. Kitts so all those children and youth who want to seek help have a place that is confidential and secure for them to raise their concerns,” she said.

Minister of Social Development, Hon. Marcella Liburd, stated her government’s commitment to work with CHI in the best interests of the children

“We cherish our children as they are our treasure and indeed our future. We must therefore spare no effort to protect them and ensure that they live in a healthy, safe, and happy environment,” she said.

Liburd said the government’s involvement in this activity positions them to be more responsive to children’s needs.

She said child help lines are important protection tools and government must ensure that child protection policies are aligned for effective implementation.

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