Social Protection Ministry pushing for strong family units

GINA, GUYANA, Friday, December 2, 2016

The National Commission for the Family hosted its third round table forum at which religious and stakeholder groups of West Demerara, Region Three gathered at the West Demerara Regional Hospital to discuss issues affecting the family.

Volda Lawrence, Minister of Social Protection at the third round table family forum and discussion, giving the feature address

Volda Lawrence, Minister of Social Protection at the third round table family forum and discussion, giving the feature address

The forum is expected to be held in all 10 administrative regions. Two sessions have already been held in Regions Four and Six. These round table discussions are aimed at providing information that will guide the Ministry of Social Protection in the implementation of family -oriented programmes.

Chairperson of the Commission, Sandra Hooper, in explaining the basis on which the round table discussion concept was developed, said, “This concept of round table is used to give everyone the feeling that today, we sit as equals to have this discussion which we hope will achieve the objective the commission has set for this programme.”

The objective of the family commission is mainly to identify leadership and other resources which will enhance the development process of family life, create legal and service mechanisms to protect the rights and wellbeing of family members who are victims of violence, support families in parenting skills, assisting them in teaching their children core values, and advocate with the government (national and foreign) to recognise the importance of maintaining the family unit in migration policies.

Hooper highlighted some of the guiding principles of the commission that must be noted, and also indicated that the family is the fundamental unit of society, protected by human right laws under the United Nations (UN) convention which states every member of society has the right to be part of a family.

“The commission hopes to improve the quality of family life in the Guyanese society through the promotion of stable cohesive families, while

Sandra Hooper, Chairperson, National Commission for the Family, Ministry of Social Protection

Sandra Hooper, Chairperson, National Commission for the Family, Ministry of Social Protection

the mission provides the opportunity to give greater recognition of the roles that the family unit plays in the evolution of contemporary society and to honour the family’s functions to enhance its roles and to strive for further wellbeing of all its members,” Hooper added.

The feedback from these discussions will eventually lead to the Commission being tasked with the responsibility of addressing issues affecting families in Guyana. Special focus would be placed on parental skills, health and family life education.

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence who delivered the feature address at the forum said that parents have a responsibility to send clear messages to children indicating that ‘they care’. Minister Lawrence said, “At the Ministry of Social Protection, we are pushing this subject of the family. Strong families will result in strong households, strong households will result in strong communities and strong communities will result in a strong nation.”

Minister Lawrence also emphasised that strong families stabilise the society however, a number of challenges affect the growth and development of children. These vary from matters of abuse, anger management, drugs, alcohol and depression among others.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

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