Fully furnished and equipped to facilitate further learning for teenage mothers
Kingston, Jamaica – 28 April 2010: After years of trying to improve the home economic facilities for teenage mothers and teenage expectant mothers at the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, the facility has finally been outfitted with equipment and furniture , made possible by the Digicel Foundation to the tune of JA$650,000. “It is quite fulfilling to see that the ladies now have a fully equipped, fully furnished and spacious area to eat. It is quite gratifying”, commented Centre Manager, Mrs. Esther Clarke.
“According to Eleen Rankine, Administrator of Digicel Foundation, “We remain committed to youth development in Jamaica and so we are always looking for opportunities to give back and support our youth. The Women’s Centre plays a pivotal role in helping these young ladies to secure a future for their new family and for themselves and we are very happy to be a part of this.”
Located at 42 Trafalgar Road, The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation promotes a critical approach to the problems associated with teenage pregnancy, especially in the area of interrupted education. A national programme which focuses on education, training and developmental counseling for girls 17 years and under; it is aimed at improving levels of employment and productivity among young mothers and delaying unwanted pregnancies. This includes academic instruction, counseling and skills training (sewing, cooking etc). Day nursery services are provided at each Centre to facilitate breast-feeding and parenting. The young mother is reinstated into the school system after childbirth.
Describing the facilities prior to the Digicel Foundation’s intervention, Mrs. Clarke explains that, “The home economics facility was built in October 2009 by the Jamaica Volunteers Association; however, it was empty, with no equipment or furniture. So we had to stagger lunch breaks using classrooms as well as outside under the mango tree. Of even greater concern was that the girls who study Food and Nutrition have had to sit their CSEC exams in a crammed room that only accommodated 3 to 4 students at a time. The newly equipped and furnished facility now allows the girls to receive needed instructions to facilitate life skills and personal development as well as finishing their high school curriculum; i.e. students taking the CSEC Examinations in Food and Nutrition will also conduct their classes and examinations within this new facility with ease”, closed Mrs. Clarke.
About the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation’s programme began in 1978 and now comprises of seven (7) main Centres and eight (8) Outreach Stations island-wide. To date, over 38,000 teens have been assisted through the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation.