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Beverage manufacturers urged to cut sugar content

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan 13, CMC – Jamaica’s Finance Minister Audley Shaw has  issued an appeal to beverage manufacturers to lower the sugar content in their products or force the Government to take action.

sugarraShaw, who was addressing a scientific symposium on fiscal measures to prevent obesity/non-communicable diseases (NCD), on Thursday, said they can either respond voluntarily “or we as a Government can respond to the needs of the country through appropriate policy prescriptions.”

“There has to be a willingness on the part of the producers of beverages to lead the way, set the examples. Don’t wait for the tax act to force you to do it. They need to start reducing the sugar contents even before fiscal measures are contemplated,” he added.

He said that the Government is concerned about the sugar content of products being marketed to children.

He noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that countries implement guidelines as it relates to the production of food and beverages in order to reduce the amount of sugar, and imposing taxes to encourage manufacturers to take the appropriate actions.

The Minister pointed out that policy measures already being implemented by countries across the region are reducing the amount of sweet beverages provided to schoolchildren and, ultimately, having a positive impact on the social and economic fabric of such societies.

Shaw said that although several programmes have been initiated to reduce NCDs, a more aggressive stance is needed to get more partners to join the fight in reducing the lifestyle-related diseases.

He argued that with Jamaica spending US$170 million annually on chronic diseases, the country must act so that more funds can be available for infrastructure improvement to health facilities and the upgrading of healthcare services.

Urging action from beverage manufacturers, the Finance Minister noted that they are armed with research about the “impact of your product on your consumers. We want you to be more responsible in what you include in these products.”

He also urged consumers to “put themselves in informed positions to make healthy choices, because it is your health that is impacted.”

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Health, International, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Children rightss

Barbados joins other Caribbean islands in signing ILO initiative regarding child labour

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Dec 11, CMC – The International Labour Organization (ILO) says Barbados has become the ninth Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to join the Regional Initiative, Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour.

It said that the island’s Labour Minister Esther Byer-Suckoo handed over the signed agreement to José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, ILO Regional Director of the Americas and Caribbean in the margins of the Organization of American States (OAS) XX Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour held here earlier this month.

Children rightssIt said as a result of Barbados signing the agreement, it now brings the total  number of participating countries in the region to 28, all aligned in pursuit of a common objective: to accelerate the rate of reduction of child labour in the region and by 2025, to eliminate all forms of child labour.

“The adhesion of Barbados reflects the commitment and importance attributed by the Caribbean countries to the tripartite collaboration and partnership among governments, and employers and workers organisations, as the region works towards achieving Target 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda,” the ILO added.

According to the ILO, Barbados has ratified the commitments set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has also ratified ILO Conventions 138 on the minimum age for admission to employment and 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.

It noted that in Barbados, the minimum age established for employment is 16 years, however, according to estimates done in 2014, the incidence of child labour in the country was 3.5 per cent between 5-14 years of age.

“As part of the country’s efforts to combat the issue, Barbados has established the National Committee for Monitoring the Rights of the Child, which seeks to generate recommendations on policies that favour the rights of children and sensitizes communities on the matter. Among the challenges faced by Barbados is the creation of lists of light work and dangerous work for minors,” the ILO added.

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Montserrat hosts Dominica children in relief from hurricane ravages

By B. Roach

These five children from Maria ravaged Dominica arrived on a Fly Montserrat charter flight which landed at the John A. Osborne Airport Friday afternoon, October 20, 2017.

These five children from Dominica will be attending school here for the next three months, in the first instance.

All the children have host families and culminated from an initiative taken on by the Montserrat Children’s Society on Montserrat (MCS), which was launched here in February, 2013 at the Hill Top Coffee House and Family Centre. The president is Mrs. Helena Dorsett and she informs how the “support has been wonderful.”

“Several sponsors are on board to assist in whatever way they can…weekly and monthly,” she said.

The Host Families are: Mary and Nurse Naomi Farrell, Joycelyn L. Howe, Mrs. Catherine and Rudolph  Dorsette, and Miss Lucille Irish. The other person is Miss Norma Francis who received direct assistance to bring one a young member of a family into her care.

The Farrell sisters speaking to ZJ B Radio’s Tanisha Christopher said they were prepared and able to assist in caring for the 18-year old disabled girl child to whom they have opened their doors. Mary said, “We would not know where we have to go and what we would have to do. People need people and we are one family.”

“My sister and myself when we heard about it we decided to take a child or children to assist in whatever way we can so that (they) can be relaxed and stress-free…and we are capable enough to do such,” Mary said. .

President Helena Dorsette said that in discussion with the Minister of Education Mrs. Delmaude Ryan, Director of Education Mr. Glen Francis and Ms. Elaine Ryan of the Social Services, MCS was assured that, “if we could get the children to Montserrat there was more than enough space available at both primary and secondary school level.”

Mrs. Dorsette said further, “MCS is hoping to meet with the Director of Education to fast track and arrange meets so that the children can begin school within the coming week.”

Dorsette also informed that some Staff of Social Services department, who are also members of MCS, assisted with vetting the families. The MCS president is also hoping that, “with the direct communication links which have been established ‘before’ the children came up, will cement the relationships between families, and arrangements can be made between the families to determine whether they want, (can accommodate) the children to complete the Academic school year on Montserrat.”

Some of the children gave brief accounts of their experience through hurricane Maria which originated from a tropical wave, becoming a tropical storm on September 16, east of the Lesser Antilles with remarkably favorable environmental conditions enabling the storm to undergo explosive intensification as it approached the islands.

Maria reached Category 5 strength on September 18 as it made landfall on Dominica, producing extreme winds across the entire island.

It is reported that afterwards, Maria reached its peak intensity over the eastern Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h).

The children upon arrival in Montserrat also expressed their joy at being in Montserrat, especially it was their first time being in Montserrat. One said: “Someone told me that I’m going to enjoy my experience in Montserrat. It’s a small island and everyone knows each other and they are very friendly and very great people…it’s amazing I saw the volcano and I was very happy cause that was my first time.”

While the president wishes to express thanks to the Executive and Members of MCS for support, she also sends thanks to individuals, businesses and individual sponsors, who at the end are soliciting assistance with the difficult situation of books, uniforms etc. “If there is any assistance with the books we will appreciate…” Mary Farrell said, as otherwise to that if all food, clothing, shelter, “we are ok.”

Posted in Hurricane, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments


Minister says radical approach needed to deal with sex offenders


ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Dec 6, CMC – Social Development Minister, Delma Thomas, Tuesday called for a more radical approach to dealing with matters of sexual abuse and urged religious organisations various church to speak out against  this social scourge which can have long term implications on children.

“We have to take a radical approach to deal with issues that confronts our children, we have to go out more to the schools, more to the communities, and I want to call once more again to the church, I said before as Christians as church we cannot sit down and worship…we also in our church must speak against child abuse,” Thomas told reporters at the weekly news conference following the Cabinet meeting here.

sexual-harassmentShe said the Cabinet has started the process of appointing a broad-based committee that will guide Government’s policy as it relates to how to handle matters of child abuse in all its forms.

“How we look at the laws, what about a sex offender’s registry, it is something that I have raise at the level of the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) and I know they are looking into it. Anything that can deter offenders from getting involved with children,” she said.

“We cannot sit idly by and accept our children to be abused. Everyone who have children should be concerned,” said Thomas, who explained that the committee will be reviewing all the laws as it relates to sexually related offenses.

In 2010, the then Tillman Thomas administration amended the Criminal Code to increase the age of rape and other sexually related offenses. A rape conviction carried a maximum 33 year jail term but to date there is no court records of any perpetrator receiving that sentence.

Data from the courts here show that more than one third of all cases listed for the Assizes are sexually related offenses. Recently, a police officer was among several men found guilty of sexually abusing his daughter. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday.

The Committee is expected to have representation from the Ministry of Legal Affairs and child rights advocates and experts.

Among the names of persons already mention for inclusion on the committee are Jacqueline Sealy-Burke, the director at the Legal Aid and Counselling Clinic and human rights advocate Lady Anande Trotman-Joseph.

The two are well known regionally and international for the work they have done with UNICEF and other UN agencies.

“The committee will be using the Ministry of Legal Affairs a lot because we want them to come up with policy, legislation and programmes for reducing and eliminating instances of child abuse, sexually and otherwise,” Thomas said.

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Montserrat GB in #iamgb video features global Girls’ Brigade transformation stories

iamgb__still02The Girls’ Brigade (GB) International has released a video on International Day of the Girl demonstrating girls feel confident, courageous, loved and accepted as a result of being a member of Girls’ Brigade.

Celebrating its 123rd birthday, Girls’ Brigade is a worldwide faith-based movement focused on working amongst girls and women in around 50 countries. Girls’ Brigade is a fun, confidence building, safe environment that provides opportunities for personal growth and faith explorationdsc_6966

In Montserrat some of our activities have been:

Bible Studies, Drills, Crafts, Grooming and Deportment, Dancing, Hiking, Singing, Parade – Queen’s Birthday Parade & Remembrance Day Parade, Methodist Aldersgate Rally, Movies – moral values, educational and Christian, Annual Camp – God can use me for great things –Book of Esther, Banquet, Games, Drama, Devotions, Church Service, Teenage Sexuality, Disaster preparedness, Bible quizzes and so much more.wp_20161011_15_21_53_pro

Girls’ Brigade International President Vivienne Aitchison from England shares: ‘Because of being part of the Girls’ Brigade family, girls in Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Europe and Pacific have shared that they feel confident, courageous, loved and accepted.

‘Girls around the world say that, because of GB, they experience opportunities to discover what it means to live life to the full! In a world where it can be difficult to be a girl, this is a positive and hope-filled message for GB to share on International Day of the Girl. We are thankful for all of our leaders who are investing in girls and impacting their lives and for God’s faithfulness to us.’

wp_20161011_15_27_23_proThe #iamgb initiative gathered incredible stories of transformation from girls across the world – too many to include in one video. It aims to inspire girls, encourage GB leaders and demonstrate the value of Girls’ Brigade’s ministry.

Sharyn White- Senior says Because of brigade I have participated in more outer activities like singing, dancing and singing.

While senior girl Chamique Corbette said Because of brigade I have discovered, learned new things and now I see the world differently.

“Because of brigade I have become matured, which enables me to explore the world, be more adventurous and see what God has created” say Serina Laird who is also a seniorwp_20161011_16_08_17_pro

Brigadier Jahvine Henry while jumping from a tree said “Because of brigade I am fearless”.

Because of brigade I have a very high self-esteem. Shania Bryan – Senior

Because of brigade I am more willing. Brianna Benjamin – Junior

dsc_6955Because of brigade I am more confident due to the activities we have done. Keyanna Bryan – Junior

Because of brigade I have shown better and great attitude and have self-control. Dieudeline Dubreus – Junior

Because of brigade I am brave in all that I do. Karina Beni- Junior

Because of brigade I am able to speak out, get rid of my fears that help me with my attitude. Melvaleena Tuitt – Senior

Because of brigade I am more mature, I take care of the younger ones, I help to start brigade and I mark the register.  Mikila Gittens – Brigadier


Because of Girls’ brigade I have been more expose to God, and because of the many social activities that we have done my interactive skills with people have improve. Jameina St. Hill – Brigadier

Because of girls’ brigade it has helped me to improve my social skills and speaking and I am more outgoing. So far we have done activities which have helped me to interact with other girls and to learn new things. Tereese Weekes – Senior

Bailey (16) from GB New Zealand shares: ‘Because of GB, I feel both accepted and loved. I have been going to GB since I was 7 and grown up with most of the girls and leaders. Words can’t explain the feeling I get when the girls want to see me and hug me and share their week stories.’

GB is a safe place for girls to feel a sense of belonging and have fun as Wong Nok Ching (7) from GB Hong Kong explains: ‘Because of GB, I am happy.’ Leila-May (8) from Girls’ Brigade England & Wales also shares: ‘Because of GB, I have made lots of new friends.’

Girls are also encountering Jesus in new ways through local GB groups. ‘GB has made me into a new person and taught me more about God. I feel confident to tell people about God and what He, through the Girls’ Brigade, has done for me’ says Samantha from GB Jamaica.

In a world where girls are facing increasing levels of low self-esteem, Girls’ Brigade is helping girls discover confidence to overcome obstacles in cultures where being born a girl can be difficult.

Lisah from GB Papua New Guinea shares: ‘Before joining GB, I was a shy girl. Through GB, I’ve learned a lot of things and one of them is how to be confident.’ Chioma, a younger GB leader from Nigeria (where the Chibok girls, 6 of whom are GB members, remain missing), adds: ‘Because of GB, I am empowered, courageous and transformed.’

Here is a video of some of the local GB members:

The #iamgb video website is available on the GB International website ( and facebook page ( from 11 October 2016.

If you would like to find more about 1st Montserrat Girls’ Brigade Company, please contact         

Ms Milykhia McKenzie

 1664-493-2030/ 1664-393-3254

And Like our Facebook page

Posted in Entertainment, Featured, International, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Videos0 Comments


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