Wednesday, August 08, 2012 – The Government of Saint Lucia will unveil its special assistance programme targeting single unemployed mothers around the island on Thursday August 9th , 2012.
As announced by Prime Minister Honourable Dr Kenny Anthony in the 2012/2013 budget, the “Single Mothers Employment Programme” (SMILE) was conceptualised in recognition of the serious impact which the current economic crisis is having on the most vulnerable groups in society which include mothers.
Speaking this past Tuesday August 7th , 2012 on her weekly radio programme on RSL 97, the Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Jadia Jn Pierre Emmanuel said the initiative is intended to do just what it suggests :bring smiles to single mother families.
“We are starting off the programme with a targeted group of 200 mothers as part of the pilot phase and they will provided with life skills training such as gender awareness training, self defense ; parenting skills; first aid training, ICT training and financial management to name a few and the SMILE programme will be coordinated by the National Skills Development Center (NSDC). Just to note as a government we have already delivered on some of the plans which were articulated in the budget and we look forward to the remainder of the financial year where we will report back to the public and give an account of our stewardship”.
For the 2012/2013 financial year, Government has allocated EC$1.2 million for the execution of the pilot phase of the “Single Mothers Employment Programme (SMILES).”
The programme will help equip mothers who otherwise would not be able to be great mothers.
The Press Secretary says Government believes that improving parenting skills is a critical element in building a stronger nation.