Initiative to prevent teen pregnancy, sexual abuse held at D’urban Backlands

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A comprehensive Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Programme aimed at helping to prevent sexual abuse and empowering at risk teenagers has been undertaken in the D’urban Backlands area, the Ministry of Social Protection has reported.

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). It began in May and will be concluded 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 teach them to wait on the right time to have sex”, Henry related.

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Programme was implemented following a community exercise in the D’urban Backlands area in conjunction with the Ministries of Public Health and Social Protection in April.

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

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Programme was piloted in 2016, officially launched in 2017 and continued in 2018; it 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/adolescents and provide 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 partners 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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