The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security has trained 500 children under its ‘Every Child Safe’ campaign in a bid to ensure that children are educated on ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Assistant Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency Levine Gouveia on Friday disclosed that the campaign launched in 2021, has seen 275 activities over the years, one of which targeted 500 children to educate them on preventing unwanted pregnancies.
“Since the launch of this programme there have been over 275 campaign activities conducted and the projection for 2024 is for us to have 100 campaigns however the Every Child Safe campaign is the umbrella which has been supported by many other programmes.
“We have the teenage pregnancy prevention programme also aids in tackling teenage pregnancy in terms of reducing the incidences and we would’ve completed over 500 children being trained,” Gouveia said.
There is also the Parents in Training programme that equips persons living in communities with knowledge of parenting and childcare. Meanwhile, the street light programme aids in removing children off the streets and providing children involved in child labour and abuse with necessary care.
Touching on further developments for the campaign, the Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr Vindhya Persaud said an anti-bullying programme will be introduced to schools. This will be done through a partnership between the Ministry and the Education Ministry.
“The Ministry of Human Services, with our Young Influencers, would’ve developed a programme on anti-bullying, we will be offering this to all the schools in Guyana, all the homes in Guyana and the country at large,” the minister said.
She noted that it is important for children to feel safe in classrooms and that bullying is a major issue for many children. She noted that when a person thinks of abuse, oftentimes emotional abuse is not considered.
But the minister said at the community level, people must understand that bullying and causing people emotional stress is a form of abuse.
“If you see someone being bullied report it if you are being bullied, tell an adult do not feel it is your fault and do not be afraid.
“Bullies take advantage of fear [and] if we have courage and we have fearlessness no bully can take advantage,” she said.
Children and young people have a general human right to be treated with respect and care. Persons in breach of these rights are answerable to authorities. To report abuse of children, persons can contact the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security on its toll-free hotline 914 or the Childcare Protection Agency on 227-0979 or WhatsApp 624-1572.