“The wisdom in the undertaking of a Teenage Parenting programme speaks for itself and cannot be overly emphasized.”
So says the island’s Minister for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, Alvina Reynolds.
The health minister on August 29 addressed the closing ceremony of a Teenage Parenting Programme for very young parents in the Dennery/Mabouya Valley area. The minister encouraged young mothers of the Dennery Basin to maintain high self esteem.
“No matter what happens to you I want you to keep being beautiful, to tell yourself you are strong, you are young and you stand up strong.”
The objective of such social programmes, she says, is to inspire and empower young people.
“The teenagers of Dennery must be a stronger group of teenagers because you have been trained. The young women of Dennery and the men of Dennery, your boyfriends, your partners , your older siblings, everyone who lives in your family continue to train them with what you have learnt so that Dennery and Saint Lucia could have a stronger group of young women.”
Meanwhile, young mothers in the community of Dennery are calling for the continuation of a support group for teenage mothers. This after the recent hosting of a Teenage Parenting workshop was acclaimed a resounding success.
Social worker attached to the NICE programme, Janice Charles, says she found the inspiration to spearhead the initiative because teen parenting is quite an intimidating challenge, however younger parents need real support given the unique challenges associated with teenage parenthood.
“When I began working with the Dennery Office I thought why not start a support group for teenage mothers with the goal of facilitating them with information to be better mothers and also to empower them in ways of being a successful individual. Even the teenage mothers have asked for the workshop to be continued. I am keeping hope that we would be able to do so with support from government and other corporate sponsors.”