Spanish Town-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Children First, will be the beneficiary of the proceeds from the 37th staging of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB).
The NLPB was held on Wednesday (January 19) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston under the theme ‘God-Empowered Intervention for Transformation’.
Moderator of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Rt. Rev. Christopher Mason, said the NLPB committee identified Children First as the charity to be assisted this year, to give support to vulnerable members of society, particularly women and children who have been impacted by abuse and violence.
The programmes to be supported include a life-skills initiative in juvenile centres, specifically targeting 50 wards at the South Camp Juvenile Centre, as well as a programme exploring issues of gender-based violence and child abuse.
Children First, which has been operational since 1997, targets children and youth in at-risk and underserved communities between the ages of 10 and 24 in St. Catherine, and Kingston and St. Andrew.
The interventions, which directly impact more than 15,000 children and youth annually, include holistic programmes on education, screening for sexually transmitted infections (STI), empowerment workshops, counselling in cases of abuse, and skills training through partnership with HEART Trust/NTA.
Executive Director of Children First, Claudette Richardson-Pious, in an interview with JIS News, expressed gratitude that the NGO was selected for support, noting that this will also help to expose the work of the organisation.
“I am very excited about this… it’s a good opportunity for people to know about us and what we do. It’s also an opportunity for persons to put their money where their mouth is, so I am hopeful that we will get enough funding to carry out major programmes,” she said.
Chairman of the NLPB, Rev. Dr. Stevenson Samuels, in his remarks at the event, hailed attendees on their continued support of the annual event.
He said the NLPB has been making an impact on the nation, even as it provides opportunity for persons to give back.
The service was hosted under the patronage of Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who headed the list of dignitaries in attendance.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, as well as a range of leaders in government, business and the clergy, also attended the prayer breakfast.
The NLPB is sponsored by Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS).