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Teen-mothers trained in combating HIV/AIDS challenges


The Gender Affairs Department within the Ministry of National Mobilization, in conjunction with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Ministry of Education commenced a workshop yesterday, Monday, November 21, for teen-mothers.{{more}}

The workshop, being held at the Knowledge Institute, is entitled Strengthening HIV prevention efforts among teen-mothers, through life-skills development and HIV prevention education, using Information, Communication Technology. The theme of the workshop is “Combating the challenges of HIV/AIDS among vulnerable young women in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”. Topics to be covered in the workshop are: gender and self-esteem, teen pregnancy, effective parenting skills, HIV/Aids and STIs, job skills, time and money management.

UNESCO Representative Janeil Henry said the workshop will equip young ladies with the knowledge to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS. She added that education plays a great role in reducing stigma and victimization against persons living with HIV/AIDS. UNESCO is funding the initiative and is pleased to be associated with making the teen-mothers initiative a reality.

Head of the Gender Affairs Department Polly Oliver said there have been students in the teen-mothers programme who have made the department very proud. She urged participants to pay attention to the education given to them and that education is key when dealing with HIV/AIDS.

According to a 2009 report from the Ministry of Health and the Environment, teen-mother pregnancies have increased in comparison to 2008. The report also said the high level of teen pregnancy can be indicative of issues such as lack of love and hope, self-respect and a sense of not belonging, experienced by many teenagers today.