The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands – Young Adult Action Movement’s Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Project
Aware that the National Young Adults Action Movement (UCYAAM) was not having as much impact across the denomination as they wished, coordinators Rev. Sadekie Little-Forbes and Mrs. Janet McConnell determined that it was time to interve. After some deliberation, they agreed that a project related to children would be an excellent point of collaboration, since young adults are at the child-bearing and child-rearing age. Their research pointed to a gap in the reporting cases of child sexual abuse, and so the CSAAP – the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Project – was born.
Using the slogan, “Stop…Look…Talk…Save A Child From Sexual Abuse”, CSAAP went underway with a bang! In collaboration with the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR), the Council for World Mission (CWM), and the Caribbean and North America Council for Mission (CANACOM), the UCYAAM launched a campaign that was felt across most of Jamaica. The group positioned itself to respond to social and economic needs as well as address social issues that affect the most vulnerable groups in society, children among them.
They used a variety of media, and while their message was far-reaching, it did not have as strong an impact as they had desired. The planning team went back to the drawing board, this time employing the creative skills of Mr. Kevin ‘Nana Moses’ Calvert, director of Kairos Creations, to design a theatrical production which could serve as a segue into the conversation. The goal was to prevent sexual abuse by sensitizing Jamaican communities and increasing awareness of suspicious situations or potentially unsafe occurrences that ought to be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Recognizing that this is a national issue and not just a church issue, the CSAAP team visited schools, where they sought to impact both staff and students with their message. A typical program included:
- A 15-minute theatrical “edutainment” presentation performed by Kairos Creations (Kevin Calvert)
- A 10-minute talk by a CSAAP volunteer after the performance
- Distribution of a memorabilia package that included exercise books, pencils, rulers, stickers, pens, and CSAAP manuals for guidance counselors. CSAAP T-Shirts were also given to students as prizes during the talk session.
To-date, CSAAP has successfully introduced the program through their Facebook page and a pilot program offered in 10 schools, directly impacting 2040 students. They have also offered several community-outreach programs using both the community theater methodology and direct training.
The response of two students to the CSAAP presentation.
A teacher’s response to the CSAAP presentation.
Point to Ponder:
Rev. Little-Forbes believes in the ideal that ALL must have life in fullness; this is what under girds the mission of CSAAP. She maintains that in order to impact a community, you must not only have the passion, drive, and motivation but must also research the needs of the community and discern where your passion and those needs meet. Only then can you prayerfully go forward with the plan God has given you.
What is your driving passion – how are you ensuring that ALL have life in fullness?
Check out CSAAP’s “Stop, Look, Talk” Campaign on Facebook.
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