Family Centre Awareness Campaign To Wrap Up

November 18, 2016

Family Centre has launched its annual media campaign aimed at raising awareness on what constitutes neglect of children and what should be done about it.

The campaign started as children were going back to school in September and is wrapping up on November 20, which is the Universal Day of the Child.

Executive Director of Family Centre Martha Dismont said, “A priority for our organization has always been to advocate for the protection of children, our community’s greatest asset. The goal of the media campaign was to raise awareness about what child neglect is and what forms it can take.

“We took a hard-hitting approach to encourage adults to take stock of their behaviour and words. We wanted to capture the attention of the public and support people to parent in healthy ways without inflicting strong feelings of guilt or shame.

“This campaign was also meant to encourage family, friends, and/or neighbours who may witness neglectful behaviour to say something and/or report it. Saying something can mean asking for help yourself or even offering help to someone else. Children will not this do this for themselves, so we have to do it for them.”

Podcast with Family Centre Executive Director Martha Dismont:

On 14 December 1954, the General Assembly of the United Nations recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children.

It also recommended that the Day was to be observed as a day of activity devoted to promoting the welfare of the children of the world and of giving a fair chance for every child.

The date 20 November marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

Family Centre Development Director Sarah Dunstan said, “As mentioned previously, neglect will leave many children in a position where they lack the confidence to develop in healthy ways. This year’s campaign was chosen to spark individual action. We want to sound a wakeup call to Bermuda that the needs of children are often unintentionally ignored.”

Martha Dismont said, “Parents typically act in subconscious ways that reflect their own upbringing, the norms of their family culture and the current situation within which they find themselves and their families.

“We are asking all to be more conscious about how we treat our children, what we expose them to and how we show them love, care and respect so that we can all actively participate in creating a healthier and safer community for everyone.”

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