Ears out Islandwide
How Betty-Ann Blaine Sounds The Cry For Children’s Rights
It’s the year 2002. Betty Ann Blaine and her fellow advocates mobilise, getting individuals from nearby schools to march in protest. The children march; adults march; community members march; scores of people gather to carry out the rally. They urge Jamaica to take notice, to take decisive action for the safety of our children.
Fast-forward six years, it is now the 18 September 2008. It is the morning after Ananda Dean has gone missing. Blaine, a talk show host at the time, used her platform to call for a rapid response system, like the Amber Alert System in the USA, to be established. Its name? The Ananda Alert.
Over a decade has passed since the tragedies which cheated those youths of their futures. And not just them, but many others over the years. Betty-Ann Blaine hasn’t forgotten those heart-rending incidents. She continues to advocate for change in our country. And, through Hear the Children’s Cry, she has had many triumphs.
Hundreds of thousands of children coast-to-coast have been impacted by The School Safety Programme. Blaine and the team go directly into schools, educating children on how to stay safe. In that forum, children are given a chance to voice their feelings on issues that affect them.
Hear the Children’s Cry also actively interacts with parents, sensitising them through parental programmes. This is done to reinforce family life in Jamaica, which creates a safer and more loving community for our children.
A mother and grandmother herself, Blaine has this to say to our children locally, echoing the sentiments of many of us today:
“We love you. We are here to protect you. We are listening to you. We won’t give up until Jamaica is a country fit for every single one of you.”
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