Matarkai, Region One Sub-district sees 40% reduction in social issues

DPI, GUYANA, Sunday, October 29, 2017

Suicide, teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, rape and incest are on the decrease in the Matarkai Sub-district of Region One, Barima-Waini. Childcare Protection Officer (CPO), for the Sub-district, Bibi Samad told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that to date the area has seen approximately a 40 percent decrease in these social issues.

Childcare Protection Officer, Matarkai Sub district, Bibi Samad.

Samad explained that this is a plus for the Sub-district in light of the fact that social issues especially teenage pregnancy and suicide were alarming high in the area.

The CPO highlighted that in collaboration with several partners including police officers, doctors, headteachers and health workers, programmes addressing these issues were hosted capturing several areas in the sub-district.

Samad underscored that the programmes covered topics such as teenage pregnancy, Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STDs), HIV/AIDS and delinquent behaviours among others. She added that regular visitation was conducted to assess the conditions of the youths in the sub-district.

In August a programme was rolled out in Matthews Ridge benefitting some 50 parents from One Mile, Port Kaituma, Ornoque, Four Miles and Fitzburg and other nearby communities.

Emphasis has also been placed on students of the Port Kaituma Dormitory. The programme runs until the end of November. Samad proudly noted that the programme  have also resulted in an improvement in academics.

The CPO alluded to the suicide vigil held earlier this year which has aided the reduction of suicide to date. She said efforts have continued following the vigil,  to dissuade youths from committing suicide as an answer to resolving their issues.

However, amidst the successes, there have been some challenges which continue to be a hindrance including the language barrier and travelling to satellite areas.

“…in Baramita it is challenging to travel there if  there is a case because of the satellite areas and the other challenges. A watch group was set up there which deals with issues relating to any form of abuse and they would involve the police, headmistresses, doctors and Toshaos and they liaison with me and depending on the urgency I go into the area.”

Samad further related that  as a retired teacher she is well known and receives financial and other assistance from residents in the area, which has improved her capacity to execute her duties efficiently.

The CPO is recommending that a home be constructed in the region for foster children and others. “Rather than sending them away from their parents to Georgetown, we can work with them and their parents here.” Samad also recommended a facility for extracurricular activities which  students can use during their free time.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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