Journalists participate in StoryBoard initiative

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See below press release issued by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security:

The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is pleased to have secured funding under the United Nations Spotlight Initiative from United Nations and the European Union for the StoryBoard Initiative, launched last October 11 on International Day of the Girl Child. As such, the initiative is off to a great start.

The facilities targeted are Mahaica Children’s Home, Camal Home for Battered women and Children, Bal Nivas, Sophia Care Centre, Children and Family Care Centre, Cornelia Ida Children’s Home and Haururni Girls Home.

Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud has pointed out that an added benefit of this initiative is the creative therapy that it provides to the girls.

“I believe the outlet is important and timely and I have no doubt the opportunity to chronicle their experiences through story-telling/writing will serve to inspire and help other young people,” she expressed.

Six journalists from the Guyana Press Association (GPA) have volunteered as mentors on this programme and the Ministry wishes to express its gratitude to them. These journalists are Nazima Raghubir, Fareeza Haniff, Svetlana Marshal, Nafeeza Yahya, Thandeka Percival and Vanessa Braithwaite.

A session taught by Ms. Christina Jaipaul and mentored by Ms. Nafeeza Yahya to girls from Camal Home for Battered Women and Children and Bal Nivas Orphanage

The course will consist of six sessions with a two-hour session each week where the facilitator will explain key elements of story writing and teach on different language tools that are used in story writing.

Ms. Raghubir, President of the GPA, who is volunteering as mentor at the Sophia Care Centre, welcomes the opportunity to work with the girls. She said: “Already, the feedback has been positive, and much work is being done. The girls, their stories, their ability to tell their stories and write about how they feel, could help to boost morale and self-esteem, for that, the project earns our support.”

At the end of the six weeks, the children should be able to produce a story. The Ministry intends to partner with key private sector partners to secure publishing of the stories. The monies earned from the publishing of these stories will be remitted to the beneficiaries of this program to help in supporting themselves after they have aged out of the alternative care system.

To this extent, the programme aims to strengthen the social safety net for girls in alternative care facilities. The Ministry also intends to continue this program beyond the initial funding of Spotlight and integrate same into its social safety net programme for gender-based violence survivors.

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