Teen pregnancy programme ongoing at D’urban Backlands
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
A comprehensive Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Programme aimed at helping to prevent sexual abuse and empowering at risk teenagers is in full swing in the D’urban Backlands area. The programme is hosted by the Ministry of Social Protection’s Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) in collaboration with the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA). It began in May and will be concluded in July.
Probation Officer at CCPA, Sharon Henry, explained that the objectives of the programme are to help teenagers realise their self-worth, make positive choices and decisions, protect themselves, and delay sexual activities and associated consequences.
“So during the sessions we’re helping these children to understand themselves, help them to build self-esteem, teach them about HIV and how to eliminate teenage pregnancy, not only with girls but boys who contribute to it and teach them to wait on the right time to have sex”, Henry related.
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Programme was implemented following a community exercise in the D’urban Backlands area in conjunction with the Ministries of Public Health and Social Protection held in April, which recognized that the empowerment of teenagers – particularly the female ones who are seen as prey by male adults – is crucial.
The programme targets thirty teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 years old in D’urban Backlands. The sessions are facilitated by the Programme Officer responsible for Comprehensive Sexuality Education at GRPA, Chelsie France.
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Programme was piloted in 2016, officially launched in 2017 and continued in 2018; it is set to be conducted across the Regions. To date it has reached teens in Regions One, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Ten.
The programme is aimed at disseminating adequate information to teens/adolescents and provide support for them to make informed decisions about getting involved in sexual activity that can result in unwanted pregnancies and STDs. It is implemented in collaboration with key stakeholders and Non- Governmental Organisations partners including the Guyana Police Force, Blossom Incorporated, ChildLink and Youth Challenge Guyana.
During the sessions teens are also engaged in discussions about issues affecting them.