Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite’s call for a different type of intervention for girls and boys at the Government Industrial School (GIS) has been answered.
And he has expressed his satisfaction and pledged his support after seeing the results so far.
For a period of 18 weeks, 28 girls participated in a programme hosted by the Women of Excellence & Empowerment Ministries, Gems in the Rough and the Barbados Family Planning Association.
Speaking after a graduation ceremony for the participants at Divi Southwinds Hotel recently, Brathwaite said he was inspired by a similar programme conducted by the Women of Excellence & Empowerment Ministries last year.
“I said to them that I wanted them to come into the Government Industrial School and do a programme for the girls and for the boys. [So] what you saw here is [a culmination of] 18 weeks they spent with the girls. It has my fullest support. I am proud of what I saw here this afternoon,” he asserted.
Principal of the GIS, Erwin Leacock, pointed out that society was very good at saying ‘what is wrong with you?’, and he hoped to see a change by identifying what was “right” with the young women.
“It is a new way of thinking. These young women have talents that are worth searching for,” he said.
President and founder of Women of Excellence & Empowerment Ministries, Andrea Harris, explained that the programme examined a number of key areas in the girls’ lives.
These, she said, included self-esteem, relationships, managing their bodies, health matters, getting by on a small budget, and preparing for the world of work.
“We taught them to be their own success story,” she explained.
Social worker and manager of Youth Advocacy Outreach of the Barbados Family Planning, Keriann Hurley, gave the assurance that her institution would continue its work on sexual and reproductive education with the girls and boys of the GIS.
The graduation ceremony was held under the theme: If Caterpillars can Fly…So Can I.