Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation Stages Events for 40th Anniversary

Photo: Dave Reid Executive Director of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, Dr. Zoe Simpson, speaks at Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on April 25.

Story Highlights

  • A charity ball is one of several year-long activities to be undertaken by the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018.
  • Established in 1978, the Centre motivates young mothers to choose education instead of continuous motherhood.
  • Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on April 25, Executive Director of the WCJF, Dr. Zoe Simpson, said the aim of the event is to raise funds to assist with the implementation of new initiatives at the Centre.

A charity ball is one of several year-long activities to be undertaken by the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018.

Established in 1978, the Centre motivates young mothers to choose education instead of continuous motherhood.

The ball will take place on May 26 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, under the patronage of the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange. The guest speaker will be Actress Victoria Rowell.

Persons can obtain tickets for the ball at the Centre, 42 Trafalgar Road in Kingston or call 929-7608/929-0977, or email womenscentre@cwjamaica.com for further information.

Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on April 25, Executive Director of the WCJF, Dr. Zoe Simpson, said the aim of the event is to raise funds to assist with the implementation of new initiatives at the Centre.

She called on corporate Jamaica not to miss the opportunity to “embrace the work of the Women’s Centre and to offer the support that we need to empower the girls further”.

Dr. Simpson said the funds will support a scholarship programme, titled Advancing Secondary, Tertiary, Remedial Education for Adolescent Mothers (A-STREAM). The programme aims to empower young women at the Centre. Forty girls enrolled at the secondary level and four tertiary students will be presented with grants and scholarships at the charity ball.

She said the WCJF will be partnering with the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona, to host an adolescent pregnancy lecture series.

Dr. Simpson said the first lecture on May 25 will focus on the offspring of adolescent mothers.

“We will be listening to the voices of the offspring of the adolescent mothers. We want to hear them tell their stories. We want to hear them share their experiences growing up as a child who was born to an adolescent mother,” she added.

The second lecture, scheduled to take place on June 27, will discuss the topic ‘Adolescent Pregnancy: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’, while the third lecture will take place on November 17 and will explore the topic ‘It takes two to conceive’.

“In that setting, we will be examining a research that was done on adolescent fatherhood,” Dr. Simpson said, while pointing out that the perspectives of the fathers and offspring “are often not given enough attention”.

The Executive Director said a forum is also planned to look at the findings of two evaluation projects done on the implementation process of the National Reintegration Policy.

“How successful has been the Policy? What has been the experiences of the stakeholders during the implementation process? Having examined the findings, we will chart the way forward as it relates to the reintegration of adolescent mothers into the school system,” she said.

Additionally, she noted that the WCJF will be recognising 58 staff members who have worked with the Foundation for over 20 years, at a long-service awards ceremony.

Dr. Simpson lauded the work of the members of staff as well as contributions from the Foundation’s partners over the years.

“The Centre has seen more than 47,000 adolescent mothers since its inception and the success rate would not have been possible without our partners. We want to celebrate them,” she said.

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