Teenage mothers will soon benefit from a partnership between Women Across Differences (WAD) and international volunteer organisation CUSO that aims to reduce gender discrimination through economic and social empowerment.
“The Partnership will see an increase in the capacity of WAD to expand a teenage mothers program and the development/implementation of other initiatives that would reduce gender discrimination. The teenage mothers program aims to reduce unplanned pregnancies, build self-confidence of teenage mothers, provide entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, and enhance positive lifestyles,” said CUSO’s country representative Tara Persaud yesterday at the signing of the agreement between the two entities.
CUSO stepped in to offer help as WAD said that the demand for the program was more than they could accommodate. As such, the NGO will be providing professional volunteers to WAD to increase their capacity in securing resources to expand the program and to develop the organizational structure and systems that would support an expansion.
Both organisations believe that the social issue of teenage pregnancy needs men and boys to be sensitized to see a drop in the percentage of cases. As such, the partnership’s expansion includes programs to work with men and boys.
Equipping young women with life skills and the knowledge to earn for themselves can decrease the odds of them facing exploitation later, the groups said. “Failure to invest in teenage mothers will only result of a continuous cycle of poverty and increase the incidences of unplanned pregnancies, exploitation of young women and increase their vulnerability,” Persaud said.
“Our programs are developed in collaboration with local partner agencies and are rooted in the knowledge our partners have of the challenges facing their communities. Lasting change requires not just a financial investment but human investment…”she added.
Coordinator of WAD Clonel Samuels-Boston, in expressing their thanks to CUSO, pointed out that the two were exploring the partnership for a while and promised to make the best of it as they strive to make a difference in the lives of people.