Reproductive Health Project Gets $10 Million


A sum of $10 million has been allotted to the Improved Reproductive Health of Youth Project, as set out in the 2008/2009 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The allotment, which remains the same as last year, will be used to continue improvements in the reproductive health practices among adolescent youth.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the project commenced in September 1999 and is slated to wrap up in October 2009.
To date the project has attained several of its targets through a number of activities, such as special camps and workshops. In terms of camps, some 60 students aged 13 to 16 years participated in a leadership and life skills training camp at Munro College; 55 students aged 10 to 16 attended a camp focusing on cheerleading, leadership and physical activities in St. Elizabeth. Students also benefited from ‘Teens are Terrific,’ leadership and other cheerleading camps.
Regional workshops have been held for student leaders and a special workshop has benefited Principals and Music Teachers. Separately, 64 Principals, Vice Principals and Guidance Counsellors received training in a two-day workshop.
A music intervention project was completed in 2005 in 12 Primary and All-age Schools. Under this project, students were selected from schools in the South- East and Southern regions. Phase II of the project, which concluded in 2006 focused on 14 primary schools in North-East and Western Regions.
Seventy-two students were selected and trained for the Healthy Lifestyle Music Choir, while 48 students attended Music Camp at Eltham in St. Ann.
Targets for the period 2008/009 include the strengthening of information systems and development of Adolescent Behaviour Surveillance System; developing and testing ‘Youth-Friendly’ materials and programmes to build emotional intelligence and resiliency; focusing on training of principals, teachers, guidance counsellors, coaches and parents; and preparing parenting educational manuals.
There will also be behaviour change interventions, targeting pre-teens, inner city adolescents and boys with the assistance of schools, churches and parenting groups, in addition to the development of pilot standards and criteria in selected sites and the provision of technical assistance and training.
Plans are in place to provide art supplies and sport equipment to support school based authorities.

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