Social Protection Ministry to increase awareness of social ills in hinterland

Georgetown, GINA, November 10, 2016

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence said that the many social ills affecting the hinterland including teenage pregnancy, rape and incest are becoming unbearable. The Minister said that her Ministry will work towards sensitising far-flung hinterland communities on such issues.

“One of the things our Ministry has done, but will continue to do more effectively, is to ensure that we carry a very strong public awareness …we would like to do it more, but we are constrained by finances, but I can tell you, in 2017, we’re going to be hitting the ground running because we have advocated for more monies to do more public awareness,” Minister Lawrence told the Government Information Agency (GINA).

The Minister noted that creating public awareness is pivotal for hinterland communities since many persons are not properly informed or educated. Lawrence said her Ministry has already identified officers to go into the various regions, and has been collaborating to sensitise teenagers and adults on social issues.

Just recently, the Ministry received support from Canadian High Commissioner, Pierre Giroux for a three-day workshop. Several Indigenous leaders from 16 Indigenous communities participated in the exercise, and were exposed to issues of child abuse, family support mechanisms, incest and child labour among others. Representatives from the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs were there to lend support.

The Minister emphasised that through the workshop, it is expected that many of the leaders will be employed under the Ministry as welfare officers, “So we’re hoping that next year, we can have them fully on board with us so that every region and sub-region is covered by the representation of the Ministry of Social Protection,” Lawrence said.

The Social Protection Minister is confident that her Ministry will fulfill its mandate of creating a safe environment for children, teenagers and adults. “We want to do more, we want to extend more services as the need arise in those areas, and we want to ensure we have adequate child protection officers, along with probation officers, and labour officers.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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