The Ministry of Education’s Health and Family Life Education Unit, through its Reintegration of Adolescent Mothers programme, has trained 80 teenage mothers in cosmetology and baking.
The aim is to help them to set up their own businesses or find a job.
The programme, which spanned six weeks, began with approximately 30 mothers participating, however, after the word got out, many other young mothers looked to take advantage of the opportunity to learn the highly practiced skills.
During the programme’s graduation ceremony held on Monday afternoon at the Carnegie School of Home Economics, the girls received commendation from various distinguished individuals with responsibility for education.
One of those individuals was Minister of Education Nicolette Henry.
“To the graduating class, let me congratulate you for believing in yourselves and taking this bold step to advance your education and your skills.
“It is indeed an honour to acknowledge your completion of this course of study,” Henry said.
Bibi Shazeela and Kristen Felix are just two of the girls who took advantage of the programme.
When asked directly about the time spent in the programme as well as plans for their future now that they have graduated Shazeela said: “It was a wonderful programme, an educational programme.”
She plans on opening her own salon one day.
“I plan on teaching my friends who are home that aren’t really doing anything. I plan on just taking it and teaching them what I know,” Felix said of the skills she learnt.
The Principal of the Carnegie School of Home Economics, Myrna Lee, also had some encouraging words for the girls.
She told them: “Keep your focus; you will receive help along but the ultimate responsibility is yours.
“You are the best person to take you to the destination.”
The girls were told to use the experiences and skills gained to further pursue their dreams and to not be defeated by experiences of the past.