‘We Care’ initiative launched
– Teen moms undergo training at Carnegie
– It is our responsibility as administrators, regulators of education and the government to ensure that we provide the support and opportunity for young people to reach their full potential irrespective of their circumstances – Min. Henry
DPI, Guyana, Friday, November 2, 2018
Several teenaged mothers are enhancing their culinary skills at the Carnegie School of Home Economics (CSHE) following the launch of the ‘We Care’ – Teenage mothers’ reintegration initiative.
The programme, launched today at the CHSE, is a collaboration between the Ministries of Education and Public Health and CHSE, that aims to reduce the vulnerability of young women to poverty and Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) whilst providing them with the opportunity to complete their Secondary education.
Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry said her ministry, earlier this year, launched a new policy intended to first, prevent teenage pregnancy and secondly, reintegrate pregnant teens back into the education system.
“There must be various pathways and options you can exercise and what you have here is one option. It is our responsibility as administrators, regulators of education and the government to ensure that we provide the support and opportunity for young people to reach their full potential irrespective of their circumstances. While some may be interested in culinary art, others may want to go back into the classroom or take up other trades and so those options must be and are available,” Minister Henry explained.
The Education Minister pointed out the crucial role of collaboration with other supporting sister agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations for the provision of suitable learning environments to prevent teenage pregnancy. She committed to working towards ensuring a huge reduction in the number of teenage pregnancies. Therefore, in 2019, the Education Ministry will launch a school support unit which will look at comprehensive sexuality and teenage pregnancy.
Providing an overview of the programme, Chief Education Officer (CEO), Marcel Huston noted that for the past five years the Ministries of Education and Public Health, have jointly conducted sessions on preventing second pregnancies and provided care hampers for teen mothers and their babies at various health centres countrywide. This intervention has seen some 332 mothers received hampers in 2017 while 800 received in 2018.
Huston commended Carnegie for opening its door to the young mothers and advised the teens to use the opportunity provided to the fullest. “Your life is not determined by its beginning. Once there is life there is hope, use the opportunity to finish your education, be disciplined and finish well,” Hutson said.
Meanwhile, outlining the Ministry of Public Health’s role in the initiative, Coordinator of the Mental Health Unit, Travis Freeman said the ministry opened the antenatal clinic for adolescent mothers, the adolescent health and wellness clinic and established community parenting support groups.
The “We Care” initiative, Freeman said, falls under the community parenting support group and serves to link the community with teen mothers in order to assist in raising the child. “MOE then began supporting the programme with hampers then subsequently the reintegration process. In 2019, hinterland teenager mothers will benefit from the “We Care initiative,” Freeman reported.
Ranetta La Fleur.
Images by Geovanie Gajie.