WAD continues to empower young mothers

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, December 02, 2017

The seventh batch of adolescent mothers to successfully complete a Women Across Differences (WAD) programme graduated on Friday last.

Among this group, eight mothers benefitted from child care and first aid training, 15 benefitted from the care of the elderly as well as first aid training and one successfully completed the ICT programme.

WAD is a network of women committed to serving individuals and vulnerable groups through education, empowerment and advocacy in order to promote social change.

Through the collaboration of the Georgetown Public Hospital and the Childcare and Protection Agency, the participants were referred to the programme which provided them with higher learning and a safe environment and support system.

Coordinator of WAD, Clonel Samuels-Boston, noted that the programme which the women participated in “began in 2008 and was sponsored by the United Nations population fund for five years.”

Samuels-Boston said the aim was “to provide a second chance to girls because of their socio-economic circumstances which hinge on sexual abuse, poverty, lack of parental support and guidance and a societal culture which discriminates against them.”

Addressing the graduates, First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, encouraged them to put this second chance provided to them to good use.

“This programme has proven that there are second chances, it has helped you the participants to understand the risks you may face with repeat pregnancies, it has taught you to nurture and care for your baby and yourself, it has encouraged you to ask questions about the things you may not understand until you get the answers you seek, it has made you positive about yourself as a viable human being capable of contributing to our society”.

She also urged the young women to further their studies and not be afraid to venture into Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

According to the First Lady “This is where the jobs will be in the future. Seventy percent of our jobs will require knowledge of computer science, sixty percent of the jobs will soon be done by robots so we need to get in and do not ever believe that you must have a low paying job.  Get involved in STEM.”

Since its inception, the programme has benefitted more than 475 adolescent mothers and was designed to address the areas of personal development, skills for life, functional literacy, sexual and reproductive health and rights, entrepreneurial and income earning skills training and psychosocial support.

By: Natasha Smith

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