Rhythmic chants of ‘end it now,’ sent positive shock-waves throughout the city of Montego Bay as hundreds of Adventist supporters from Seventh-day Adventist congregations across Western Jamaica, added their voices to the national cry to end violent acts against women and children. The Anti- Violence Campaign which was spearheaded by the Women and Children’s Ministries Departments of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, was strategically hosted opposite to the Number Two Post Office and garnered massive support from the Government in conjunction with Non- Governmental Agencies.
“I would like to applaud the Seventh-day Adventist Church for their valiant efforts to eliminate violence against women and children across our beloved island,” said Tameika Peart, representing the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports (The Hon. Olivia Grange), who was unavoidably absent. “The Adventist Church through its numerous initiatives continue to blaze an exemplary trail against violence against women and children and for that, we salute you” she said.
With over fifty percent of the nation’s population being women, it was critical for the Church to add its voice to the national cry for peace and justice to reign among this group. The presence of the church in the community through this initiative, reflects the growing desire of the leadership of the Church to play its part in curbing the ‘twin monster’ crime and violence, wreaking havoc on the island and by extension the Western Parishes.
“We want the society to know that the Adventist Church is strongly against violence affecting women, children and by extension men” said Mrs. Carol Smythe- James, Director of Women’s and Children’s Ministries at the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “By coming on the street, we are sending a strong message to the society. We want everyone to know that we are going to stand up against these violent acts” she ended.
Also giving her support to programme was the Director of Women, Children and Family Ministries from the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Dr. Lorraine Vernal. According to Dr. Vernal, the day’s activities were creatively and strategically organized and were significant in creating solutions to many of the injustices women and children suffer on a daily basis.
“Today has been very wholistic in its approach” she said. “It’s not only telling us about the statistics, but giving us possible solutions and ways that we as a church can impact our homes, impact our church and communities and also liaise with various entities that can help us to deal with this scourge [crime and violence] on our country” she ended.
The Anti-violence campaign also made its impact on members of the local church within the constituency.
“This initiative was very good” said Evelyn Walcott, who serves as the First Elder for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Withorn. “My eyes have been opened to different kinds of abuse affecting women. This programme is vital to us,” she added. “It is particularly important because it is empowering to us and it helps us to know that other women are experiencing some of the same issues even right here in the church.”
The Anti-Violence Peace March was the climax of a day-long Women and Gems Convention spearheaded by the Women & Children’s Ministries Department of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.comments powered by Disqus