Outreach centre for teen mothers to be built in Santa Cruz

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica — The Government has allocated $25 million for the establishment of the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) Santa Cruz Outreach Centre in St Elizabeth.

Details are outlined in the 2019/2020 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

Establishment of the facility will strengthen delivery of the WCJF's Programme for Adolescent Mothers (PAM) and expand the Foundation's activities in the parish.

The programme enables girls to continue their education during pregnancy and prepares them to be reintegrated into the formal school system after they have given birth.

Anticipated targets for the 2019/2020 period include commencement and completion of construction of the facility, boosting enrolment, and increasing the number of teen mothers being reintegrated into the formal school system.

The project, initially scheduled from April 2018 to March 2019, has been extended to March 2020.

As of December 2018, the drawings, Bill of Quantity, and tender process were completed, and a contractor identified.

PAM is the WCJF's core programme, and is executed islandwide through the Foundation's main centres and outreach stations.

To date, the programme has served approximately 46,000 teen mothers, with approximately 1,250 registered annually. They are recruited from hospitals, health centres, schools, and communities.

The programme is non-residential, and includes academic instructions, group and individual counselling and vocational training.

Data show that the WCJF serves about 48 per cent of the adolescent mothers in Jamaica.

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