Matakai youths targetted for social issues awareness programme
DPI, Guyana, Monday, October 30, 2017
Probation and Social Services Officer of the Matakai sub district in Region One, Collis Jacobs highlighted that a programme has been designed to engage secondary school youths in combatting social issues in the region.
Jacobs who has served in the region for just under two years, told the Department of Public Information (DPI) the idea for such a programme was conceptualised following a survey indicated youths within the area are generally affected by social ills such as substance abuse, incest and rape.
“I intend to start a youth programme which will commence in another two weeks. Now I will be targeting mainly children from the secondary school and we will be looking at topics as it relates to substance abuse, teenaged pregnancy, choices and behavior now the idea is to get these youths involved…”, Jacobs outlined.
Starting in November, the programme is expected to run for six months and will target students between the age of 11 to 15. The probation officer said that mini-exercises have already been conducted in schools, to address the high number of cases of substance abuse.
He stated, “I did a survey and what I realised is that a lot of persons had been abusing substances specifically marijuana. You know it is a bit alarming and I honestly think it needs to be addressed! In terms of addressing these issues, I have been working along with the schools whereby I would usually visit and share information with them. Now, of course it is difficult to eradicate, but we are trying to minimise the use as much as possible.”
Jacobs also updated that other issues relating to incest and rape are under control, since he has been collaborating with other stakeholders to conduct investigations, towards ensuring the security of vulnerable individuals.
“As it relates to incest, (it) isn’t that pronounced within this area (Port Kaituma). I find incest to be more pronounced in the Baramita area, but we have a few cases in terms of rape and they all have been investigated. Of course, there is certain protocol that we have to follow when it comes to us then we have to channel these persons to the police station, and of course they are the persons who is responsible for conducting investigations”, he added.
Jacobs believes that in equipping youths with the necessary and relevant information regarding these issues, will result in them being more informed and less likely to fall victim to any of the outlined social issues.
By: Delicia Haynes