Programme for Adolescent Mothers
Annual Report 2013-2014
The Accomplishments of the Programme for Adolescent Mothers
In September 2013, the programme commenced with a week of activities where various motivational speakers visited the programme.
Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO International) is one of North America’s leading international development agencies that work through volunteers on development programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. In September 2013 a team consisting of three volunteers visited P.A.M and other organisations in Grenada to conduct various analyses. They conducted general data collection and an organizational self-assessment was completed. The assessment process was led by an Organizational Development Advisor/CUSO International Volunteer, Ian Donnelly. At the end of the process, several recommendations were made on areas for which technical support may enhance the services offered by P.A.M.
In November 2013, a fund raising cocktail was held at P.A.M. The event was a successful one as $4,283.00 was raised.
Also in November 2013, P.A.M. Staff were used as resource personnel to conduct presentations on the topic “Adolescent growth and development and strategies parents can use to enhance adolescent/parent relations in view with the current cyber dangers”. This was hosted by GRENCODA in collaboration with National Telecommunication Regulatory Committee (NTRC). Presentations were made at St. George’s Anglican Primary School and Corinth Government School.
In December 2013, actress, Michelle Rodriguez and her retinue visited P.A.M. to observe the programme and converse with current and ex-students. Also present were government officials and members of P.A.M Advisory Board.
In June 2013 P.A.M. was successful in obtaining funding from Maria Holder Memorial Trust (MHMT) through the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC).
CPDC is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Barbados and serves as a regional umbrella NGO for organisations and/or individuals located across the CARICOM. MHMT founded in 2007, is dedicated to improving the lives of those in greatest need throughout the Caribbean, contributing to the alleviation of poverty and to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people. It seeks to enhance education, learning and training and advance the cultural and artistic expression of young people and alleviates the suffering of the sick, elderly, disabled or abused. The Trust works with established or planned poverty related programmes operated by government and registered NGOs or charities.
In October 2012, a representative of CPDC visited P.A.M. to discuss the state of funding for programmes for young women in Grenada and the need to work together to mobilise resources toward this end. After a period of close collaboration a proposal was submitted to MHMT for consideration. The project in total is of direct benefit to 75 young mothers; 25 of which are from Barbados and 50 from Grenada.
The project, “Improving the life opportunities of young mothers of Barbados and Grenada”, was launched on March 24th 2014 and is expected to run for 18 months. The objectives of the project is to improve the lives of young mothers from challenging socio-economic backgrounds through the provision of opportunities for academic advancement, addressing emotional and life skills challenges and creating opportunities for employment through acquiring vocational skills.
Under the project component one, young mothers will be given the opportunity to complete secondary level certificate courses. Component two of the project will focus on the provision of Life Skills Training and Counselling. Counsellors at P.A.M. will provide each young mother with a minimum of 20 hours of life skills counselling. The areas being covered include budgeting and financial management, body image and self-esteem and basic child care. Component three is designed to increase opportunities for employment; this component will see that young mothers receive training in at least one technical/practical skill that can enable them to make an income through self-employment or in the formal job market. The ultimate goal of this component is to break the cycle of poverty and provide these young mothers with the requisite capacity to achieve a sustainable livelihood. Participants will be free to choose from a range of options, the skill that they would like to undergo training to develop.
Florida State University
In January 2014 a social work student from Florida State University, Lucas Strickland, was placed on internship at P.A.M. In March 2014, Professors Dr. Neil Abel and Dr. Dina Wilke along with 14 Social Work students visited P.A.M. for a one-week summer field placement. They conducted various activities with P.A.M. students. As part of the week of activities in collaboration with the Florida State University, P.A.M. held a stakeholders conference on Teenage pregnancy and its impact on family and community.
P.A.M. went on a recruitment drive in April to July 2014, this included distribution of flyers and brochures and loud speaker drives around the island. From this, many young women were enrolled in the programme.
Our annual graduation ceremony was held on July 2nd 2014 under the theme “Success means having the courage, the determination and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” Nine young women successfully completed the programme, one of whom moved on to study Sociology at the T.A. Marryshow Community College.
In September 2014, following the organization assessment in September 2013, a CUSO volunteer was placed in P.A.M. for nine months and assigned to the following tasks:
In September 2014, the programme commenced with a week of activities at the main centre and at the outreach branch in Pearls St. Andrew. The young women were engaged in craft making, leadership training and yoga.
In September 2013, fifteen young women joined the CSEC class, and in May 2014, nine young women wrote the examinations. The programme witnessed a 51% pass rate at CSEC this year.
Eight students wrote CCSLC examinations, and did well with an overall pass rate of 79%.
School Leaving Examination
Twelve students wrote the National School Leaving Examination and only two students were successful. This low performance is due to students not taking much interest in doing this examination, as they prefer to concentrate on CCSLC and CSEC. It is believed that the young women feel that the CCSLC and CSEC are more recognized qualifications.
A Cosmetology curriculum was devised by the Cosmetology Teacher. It was approved by Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) with a view to the young women sitting Cosmetology as a CCSLC subject. It is hoped that the Cosmetology Curriculum will be used by other secondary schools in Grenada. After the CPDC project launch in March 2014, P.A.M. successfully enrolled 25 students in the Cosmetology course.
In May 2014, the young women at P.A.M. were engaged in a 6-week Basic Cake Decorating course.
Two students from the outreach branch at Pearls St. Andrews completed two weeks Job training at Belmont Estate and LIME in June 2014.
Staff development and Training
Seven members of staff completed an Inclusion Workshop with a Peace Corps Volunteer in November 2013.
In January 2014, Mrs. Lawrence attended an organizational development workshop by CUSO in Guyana.
In February 2014 one member of staff attended a workshop on Blue Print to Success.
In March/April 2014 seven staff members attended a Conscious Discipline Course ran by Dr. Langdon from the St. George’s University. This was followed by an in-house one day session with other members of staff who could not attend the six-week training. Conscious discipline principles are adopted in the class room by the teachers.
In May 2014 Mrs. Alva Lawrence, manager attended a two-day civil society conference on Consultative Mechanism organized by Caribbean Policy Development Centre.
In June 2014 three nursery staff members attended an early childhood development workshop at St George’s University.
July 2014 one member of staff attended National Youth Policy workshop.
Re-establishment of the young fathers group
Helpline for teenagers
Re-establishing the Palm View Restaurant
To develop Hospitality Arts Programme - linked to job training
Preventative work in schools
To improve relationships with schools
The Programme for Adolescent Mothers has now been in operation for twenty-two years. The programme has had its challenges, however despite the difficulties it has faced, it has grown into a successful programme. P.A.M. now has the necessary structures in place to manage itself. It also has the ability to broaden its sphere of activities by perhaps offering services to vulnerable and marginalised older women who, as teenage mothers, may have missed educational and other opportunities.
P.A.M. can also be leading in the fight against issues pertaining to women and young girls by empowering its students to be their own advocate and lobbyist.