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Vincentian men attend 5-day male empowerment workshop

Vincentian men attend 5-day male empowerment workshop

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In an effort to create more male community groups in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a number of the nation’s men were recently engaged in a five-day male empowerment workshop.{{more}}

The workshop, which began on Monday, October 31, at the Ministry of Health conference room, was organized by the Youth Affairs Department in collaboration with the Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Youth, Sports and Culture.

According to Katie Sanfilippo, a Peace Corps volunteer and one of the facilitators, one of the main objectives of the workshop was to discuss issues relating to men and the way in which they deal with and relate to the many challenges affecting males in society.

Some of the areas covered included behaviour change, communication, HIV transmission, relationships, gender-based violence, and sexuality, among others.

Upon conclusion, participants were expected to have an increased ability to facilitate interactive HIV prevention activities, an ability to conduct violence reduction activities, and an ability to conduct weekly follow-up activities for male community members.

“This workshop is very important because there was a study done and it was reported that the majority of young males have never been to an HIV workshop or attended a violence reduction lifestyles workshop…

“It’s just important to get males involved in this workshop, because they can help in the reduction of HIV, domestic violence,” she said.

“Through having these community groups, we are empowering them (men) and giving them the resources they need,” Sanfilippo added.

Meanwhile, Gwenette Anthony of the Youth Department explained that it is important to educate members of the community, in particular males, about HIV AIDS and preventative activities.

The participants were also encouraged by Anthony “to take the knowledge gained from the workshop, to their various community organizations.”

Funding for the workshop was provided by the United Nations Population Fund and USAID. (AA)

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