‘Girl Power’ confab for Linden adolescents

  • Public Health Ministry, ‘For the Children Sake’ Foundation collaborate
  • Lawrence encourages better lifestyle choices among youths

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, July 14, 2018

More than 100 girls from several communities across the Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice Region were part of a ‘Girl Power” conference.

This event was held at the Egbert Benjamin Exhibition and Conference Centre in Mackenzie, Linden on Saturday.

‘For the Children Sake’ Foundation, a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) in Linden collaborated with Ministry of Public Health’s Adolescent Health Department to host the conference.

The feature address was delivered the Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, who first broke the ice with a lighthearted and motivating game that saw the girls defining each letter of the word G.I.R.L.S.

Among the many descriptions were, G-good, gorgeous, genuine, I-intelligent, idealistic, inspirational, R-respectful, reliable, royal, L-loyal, loving, leader, S-smart, special, sensitive, sophisticated.

Minister Lawrence expressed the view that this exercise was the first step in fulfilling the theme under which the event was hosted which is, ‘Empower, Encourage, Inspire’. As she interacted with the adolescents, Minister Lawrence identified with the young girls as someone who has faced this particular stage of growth and development.

“…You are not in a hopeless situation. You can be somebody, you can fashion your life in a positive and powerful way by embracing programmes such as this organised by the ‘For the Children Sake Foundation’ so that you can be better informed.”

On this note, she emphasised that every girl, every woman must seek the opportunity to access and receive information that will enhance her personal development.

“When you have information, you have knowledge. It allows you to make the right choices… that is why information is so important. Girls, in order for you to be empowered, educating yourselves is the key. You must move along the continuum from lack of knowledge to the point where you acquire the requisite skills and knowledge.”

For further emphasis, the minister painted a realistic picture of the impact bad choices could have on their lives at this crucial point of development. She explained the consequences of unsafe sex, unhealthy diets which proceeds to several Non-Communicable Diseases and the abuse of alcohol and other conventional substances and its effect on the human body.

“Once you have the relevant facts about your body, your health, your environment and the social issues prevalent in your community and the society at large then you have a toolbox that will enable you to make better and even healthier lifestyle choices and move ahead to reach your full potential,” Minister Lawrence told the girls.

According to the Executive Director of For the Children Sake’ Foundation, Vernon Todd, the event serves as another step in the journey to ensuring girls are well equipped to overcome the existing challenges in society. Todd is also hopeful that with initiatives such as these, the community, regional and national leaders are challenged to do more to helping girls to understand and be confident of their roles in society.

By: Delicia Hayne