Reaching out to the children

The Ellen Pearl Outreach Children’s Charity (EPOCC) is a UK-based charity, launched in October 2015.

The aim of the charity is to provide a national free 24-hour ChildLine service in Jamaica,

manned by fully trained counsellors to listen to children who currently have no one to talk to about the abuses they are suffering.

The Jamaican branch of EPOCC was launched in May 2016 in Montego Bay, where the keynote speaker was Mrs Juliet Holness MP,

wife of Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

In the changing face of the world, we know that children are our future, and what better way to outreach to the children of Jamaica than to listen to them.

Children are said to be ‘seen and not heard’, but we must now listen and give children a means by which they can speak confidentially,

Reaching out to the children non-judgementally and offer counselling and other support on any subject they may choose to discuss.

In the long term, EPOCC aims to have other provisions, including a service that provides visits to schools,

youth clubs and churches to inform on abuse awareness, and to empower children to say ‘No’ and/or to report abuse.

Credit for the launch of the project must be given to Sir Patrick Allen who,

Reaching out to the children at the Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference in June 2015,

drew attention to the abuse children in Jamaica were suffering, and made a plea for national collaboration at all levels to end the abuse.

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