A comprehensive Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Programme aimed at helping to empower at-risk teenagers while preventing sexual abuse is in full swing in the D’Urban Backlands area. The programme is hosted by the Ministry of Social Protection’s Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) in collaboration with the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA).

The programme began in May and will conclude in July.

Probation Officer at CCPA, Sharon Henry, explained that the objectives of the programme are to help teenagers realise their self-worth, make positive choices and decisions, protect themselves, and delay sexual activities and associated consequences.

“So during the sessions, we’re helping these children to understand themselves, help them to build self-esteem, teach them about HIV and how to eliminate teenage pregnancy – not only with girls but boys who contribute to it – and teach them to wait on the right time to have sex.” Henry related.

The Teen Programme was implemented following a community exercise in the D’Urban Backlands area which was held in April, in conjunction with the Ministries of Public Health and Social Protection. From the community exercise, it was recognised that the empowerment of teenagers, particularly teen girls who are seen as prey by male adults, is crucial.

The programme targets 30 D’Urban Backlands teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. The sessions are facilitated by the Programme Officer responsible for Comprehensive Sexuality Education at GRPA, Chelsie France.

The Programme was piloted in 2016, officially launched in 2017 and continued in 2018, and is set to be conducted across the Regions. To date, it has reached teens in Regions One, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, and Ten.

The programme is aimed at disseminating adequate information to teens and provides support for them to make informed decisions about getting involved in sexual activity that can result in unwanted pregnancies and STDs. It is implemented in collaboration with key stakeholders and non-governmental organisations, including the Guyana Police Force, Blossom Incorporated, ChildLink, and Youth Challenge Guyana.

During the sessions, teens are also engaged in discussions about issues affecting them.



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