The Gender Affairs Division within the Ministry of National Mobilization, Social Development, Family, Gender Affairs, Persons with Disabilities and Youth is on a quest to empower single parents in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; as the Division commenced its’ annual ‘Single Parent Programme’ under the theme: “Healing Families, Empowering lives.”
According to Acting Coordinator of Gender Affairs, Lafleur Quammie – Harry approximately thirty-five persons have enrolled in this year’s programme, which is now in its 4th session. Harry noted that the programme which commenced in 2016 came into being following a National Country Poverty Assessment Report in 2007/2008 which indicated 30.2 percent as being poor by way of vulnerability classification and of that 30.2 percent, 48.2 percent were vulnerable.
Harry said that of poor households, on average 55 percent were headed by single parents. The Gender Affairs Coordinator (Ag) added that the Single Parents Programme was therefore a response to these findings. She disclosed that the programme goes hand in hand with other programmes such as the Zero Hunger Project. The goal she says is to empower clients, moving them from a state of dependence to one of independence; while providing parenting support education in the process.
Program Officer, Jemima George disclosed that the aim of the programme is for participants to develop skill-based knowledge through skills training or academic studies. George said that other goals of the two year ‘Single Parent Programme’ include: strengthening family bonds, increasing communication, decreasing stress and boosting the self-esteem of parents and children.
Featured Speaker, CEO of Aurora’s Seasoning, Aleta Garraway urged participants to believe in themselves. Garraway stressed that humility and wisdom are qualities that should be instilled in children by parents. The businesswoman encouraged the parents to allow children to obtain skills by utilising their hands.
The Orientation of the Single Parents Programme was held on Wednesday May 15, 2019 at the Fisheries Conference room which also coincided with the International Day of Families.