More than 100 people registered to participate in the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) first-ever Universal Children’s Day 5K last Sunday (24 November 2019) at Dragon Bay (formerly Safehaven).
Held to celebrate the United Nations observance, while fundraising on behalf of local families, the event drew participants from across the community. Government officials including the Ministry of Community Affairs Chief Officer, Teresa Echenique; families and regular racegoers took part. They were joined by civil servants, along with children and staff from the National Council of Voluntary Organisations and local children’s homes.
DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams said: “Our first-ever Universal Children’s Day 5K Run/Walk was a huge success, it was great to see so many children participate.”
“The theme “I have a voice, hear me roar,” not only acknowledged the importance of giving our children the opportunity to speak their truth and share their thoughts, but more importantly it highlights that as adults we must listen to our children,” she concluded. The Director also thanked the event’s sponsors who had donated prizes and DCFS staff who had organised and volunteered at the department’s UCD events.
Another racegoer was His Excellency the Acting Governor Franz Manderson. He not only ran the 5K but had hosted a Universal Children’s Day reception at Government House last Wednesday to mark the observance.
Mr. Manderson said: “I commend the Ministry of Community Affairs and the Department of Children and Family Services for a successful celebration of Universal Children’s Day. I wish to thank the entire Ministry for all that they do to make the lives of our children better.”
The reception held on Universal Children’s Day showcased readings of selected short essays by local students and a performance by Dreamchasers Cayman. Compositions were read out by one of this year’s Child Month awardees, by students John A. Cumber and Prospect Primary Schools and by youth from both the Frances Bodden Children’s Home and the Bonaventure Boys’ Home. Written at the request of the DCFS, the essays were titled: “What makes a child happy, healthy and able to reach their full potential.”
With the conclusion of Universal Children’s Day celebrations, funds raised from the 5K will go to buying local store gift cards for DCFS clients to help towards Christmas.
To see the event photos visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/departmentofchildrenandfamilyservices/photos/?ref=page_internal