Cunningham targets golden double at Para Pan Games

first_imgJamaica Paralympics Association (JPA) current poster boy, Alphanso Cunningham, thinks it a big honour to represent Jamaica at yet another Paralympics showpiece.The four-time Para Pan Am medallist says he will be going for glory, records and top honours when the fifth Paralympics Pan American Games get underway from August 7-15 in Toronto, Canada.”I am aiming to better what I did at the last Pan Am Games, where I got gold and silver, so I am definitely striving for two gold this time around,” said the current Pan Am record holder in the men’s F52/53 javelin.He maintains he is calm, under no pressure and just going to do his best.”I am looking forward to doing good … just going out there to throw near the record or break the record,” Cunningham added.Cunningham continues to show strong will, determination and resilience.RESPECT”Motivation, that’s one of the aims for me in the sport, I take up on myself the responsibility, like our president says, performances make people focus on you and respect you … and sponsors and so on,” he reasoned.The JPA was established in 2008 and replaced the Jamaica Paraplegic Association, which was formed by the late Sir John Golding in 1966. It is a government-approved national body for sports, for persons who are physically challenged and visually impaired.Cunningham, Tanto Campbell, Shane Hudson, David Bascoe, Tevaugh Thomas and Sylvia Grant, the lone female, will be leading the country’s medal hopes in Canada, while former Paralympian-turned-coach Neville Sinclair is eyeing at least “one medal per athlete”.”I just try to do good, try to get medals as much as I can and make people wanna do the sport,” Cunningham told The Gleaner in an interview at the naming of the team at the Jamaica Olympics Association (JOA) on Cunningham Avenue.The Jamaican is currently number one in his class in South America, is a medallist at the Pan Am, World Champs and Paralympics level, while locally, he is a brand ambassador for local telecommunications firm Digicel.last_img read more

Liberia CSOs Ready for ‘Children on the Move’

first_imgParticipants at the WorkshopIn a bid to tackle the challenges faced by children who move unaccompanied across borders in West Africa, 20 members of the West African Network of Child Protection practitioners in Liberia completed a two-day workshop to develop capacity and skills to effectively handle cases of children on the move.‘Children on the move’ are children who have left the security of their homes and home countries with or without parents or guardians and find themselves in other countries for economic and social reasons.The workshop participants were drawn from various government agencies, national law enforcement institutions and child rights organizations including the Women and Children Protection Section (WACPS) of the Liberia National Police (LNP).Others include The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), the National Youth and Children Advisory Board (NCYAB) and LNP’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit among others.The training was organized by Defense for Children International (DCI-Liberia) and facilitated by the Burkina Faso based International Social Service West Africa (ISS-WA) organization.ISS-WA Regional Advisor Dr. Abimbola Lagunju said the workshop was part of ISS-WA’s initiatives to enhance the capacity of national counterparts to play active roles in strengthening the protection of children at the regional level.“It is not hard to imagine the kinds of things these children that are moving across borders in West African go through. They are at risk of trafficking, neglect, labor, sexual exploitation, harassment and forced and unsafe return. We are sure that this training will enable the participating social workers in Liberia to resolve these challenges,” said Dr. Lagunju during the training.ISS-WA Regional Case Manager, Abena Yamoah, said developing the capacity of individual country networks will accelerate progress in identifying children in need of help for safe and easy return and integration back into their home countries.“Our main focus is to support and mitigate trans-national children’s issues. Every country has national policies that protect their own children but there is no defined policies to protect child foreign nationals that are found there. This training has exposed the social worker to the categories of these children called ‘children on the move.’ They will be able to assist these children when found in Liberia to return to their home countries should they need help to return,” said Yamoah, adding that “to date 7,000 children, including more than 100 Liberian children, have been returned to their home countries and to their families through this initiative.”Workshop participants lauded the organizations, DCI-Liberia and ISS-WA, for the training opportunity and assured that they will use their skills to better handle cases of ‘children on the move’ effectively and to ensure protection for children in general.“This is my first time to hear about ‘children on the move’ and the risks they are exposed to. I am going to use the knowledge and skills from (the workshop) to effectively handle their cases when I come across them,” said the head of the LNP’s Anti-trafficking Unit, Anthony S.I. Tugbe.“This training was timely. I never knew about the conditions and risks of children on the move and the help available to them. As I go back to work, I will remain very firm on their cases. Many a time I come across these children but I do not know how to handle the issues; so, henceforth, I am going to be that help they need to get help,” said Sally G. Lablah, social worker at DCI-Liberia.About 33 million children are on the move, according to a recent United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) research report. The number of children on the move is expected to continue to rise as economic and social crises and natural disasters remain unabated across countries, including the West Africa region.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more