JIS News

Over 20,000 young persons have benefited from programmes run by the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation over the past 25 years.
At the post-Cabinet press briefing held yesterday (Oct. 6) at Jamaica House, Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman, said the landmark achievement was contained in the organisation’s annual report, which would be tabled in Parliament soon.
Pointing out that the report was encouraging, he said it indicated that the core business of the Women Centre continued to progress, with the principal objectives being, to ensure that teenage women who become pregnant while in school were not abandoned, but have an opportunity to be counselled, cared for, and to continue their education.
“It has been a very successful programme over the past 25 years”, Minister Whiteman said.
The Women’s Centre is an innovative change, Senator Whiteman said, pointing out that it had particular responsibility for promoting a new approach to the problems associated with teenage pregnancy, particularly in the area of interrupted education.The programmes of the Women’s Centre focus on education, training and developmental counselling to improve the level of employment and productivity among young women, and delay unwanted pregnancies.
Senator Whiteman assured that the Centre was committed to meeting the diverse needs of the adolescent and young adult populations, by providing services that ensure their rights to sexual and reproductive health.
Through its main centres and outreach stations across Jamaica, the Foundation offers continuing education for teen mothers 17 years and below; counselling for baby-fathers, their parents and parents of teen mothers; skills training for males and females in the 17- 25 age group; confidential counselling services for children, adolescent, and young adults; group peer counselling sessions at the Kingston Centre Counselling Clinic; and day care facilities for babies of teen mothers and working mothers, at the Chubby Cheeks Nursery. In addition, the Women’s Centre runs a pre-release counselling programme at Fort Augusta Correctional Centre for women; a Youth Activity Programme under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Uplifting Adolescent Programme; a continuing education and counselling programme for “Young Men at Risk”; and a walk-in counselling service for women and men of all ages.

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