TWIN ISLAND NGO PLEADS: SAVE OUR CHILDREN THROUGH VACCINATION
Trinidad & Tobago’s IWRN is appealing to parents, guardians and caregivers to have their children between ages 12 to 18 VACCINATED. While online learning is the only feasible option to keep our children safe given the pandemic, after almost 18 months, it’s time for us to re-visit the holistic development of our nation’s children.
The organization fears that if our children do not return to school, Trinidad and Tobago may be creating a “lost generation” socially, mentally, emotionally and physically. The following are the factors that can hamper a child’s holistic development:
1. As social beings, children need to interact with each other to learn, make mistakes, grow and develop. A lack of socialization can lead to mental illness and suicidal ideation.
2. Academia is not the only skill taught at school; other critical skills such as paying attention, discipline, behavioral patterns, social etiquette, respect and manners are learnt through interaction with teachers and their peers.
3. Heads of single-parent households need to earn a living and not be dependent on the state and/or other types of handouts, and so, with their children being able to return to school, these parents would be able to return to work. Nutrition is also a fundamental right, as a child who is not properly nourished will become ill.
4. Children are being left in the care of other persons who may not be fit to care for them. In this regard, the IWRN has seen an increase in child abuse including sexual assault, as reported by the Child Protection Unit of the TTPS.
5. “At-risk” children at the lower end of the social strata are suffering the most; some do not have electricity, internet connectivity and devices for online learning.
6. Children can become addicted to electronic devices which is known as “Digital Heroin”; this can lead to erratic behavior.
Education is the key to transitioning persons out of poverty, and is known to be the driving force in strengthening this country’s human capital.. It is therefore imperative, that EVERY CHILD is educated to their fullest potential.
As part of the rights to the provision in the “United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child”, a child has a right to:
- Education (Article 28)
- Leisure, Play and Culture (Article 31)
- Health Care (Article 24)
- Adequate standard of living (Article 27)
The IWRN is urging parents whose children are affected by underlying medical conditions, to consult with their family doctor prior to having their children vaccinated.