Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, is urging increased support for the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation’s (WCJF) Advancing Secondary, Tertiary Remedial Education for Adolescent Mothers (A-STREAM) Programme.
“I again make the appeal to corporate Jamaica and to individuals to come on stream with the A-STREAM programme,” she said, noting that with substantial support “there is no limit to what can become of the life of these adolescent mothers.”
“It is an excellent programme, and it is one way that you can contribute to the further development of the women of Jamaica. Pledge to sponsor or to mentor even one girl,” she added.
Ms. Grange was addressing a virtual ceremony for the award of bursaries and scholarships under the programme on July 29.
Instituted in 2018, the A-STREAM programme provides sponsorships and mentoring for adolescent mothers enrolled in the WCJF to ensure that they, along with the fathers, can complete their secondary education and advance to tertiary studies.
Minister Grange said there are currently 14 students pursuing tertiary level education under the programme. Since its launch, three persons have attained undergraduate degrees under the programme.
Minister Grange commended the WCJF’s efforts to incrementally increase the number of beneficiaries each year, noting that public support will enhance these efforts.
“Enabling the adolescent mothers to complete their secondary education and to aspire to tertiary level (education) will contribute to the national goal of making Jamaica the place to live, work, raise families and do business,” she noted.
Sixty-seven adolescent mothers and one adolescent father were presented with scholarships and bursaries totaling $3.9 million to assist with educational expenses for the 2021/22 academic year under A-STREAM.
Eleven of the beneficiaries are adolescent mothers who had previously completed their secondary education and have matriculated to tertiary institutions.
The A-STREAM programme is supported by donors and through fundraising activities executed by the WCJF.