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Young moms get support from Sandals, Beaches

Monday, March 17, 2014    

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As countries across the globe celebrated International Women's Day on March 8, under the theme "Inspiring Change", teenage mothers at the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation in Westmoreland were last week empowered to rise above their situations and become beacons of success.

The young mothers received valuable life lessons from, and were given the opportunity to interact with over 20 team members from Sandals and Beaches Resorts in Negril during a session in which they were exposed to presentations on child care and development, contraception, social support, financial management and career growth.

The resort also treated the students and staff to lunch, complete with entertainment and live mixology demonstrations.

The visit was part of Sandals Resorts' continued efforts in reaching out to the community through initiatives that support, uplift and improve the lives of the Jamaican people.

"With the theme for this year being Inspiring Change, we deemed it important to reach out to these ladies in particular and remind them that even though they have had an unplanned pregnancy, this does not define them. They still have the opportunity to positively change their lives by learning from their current situation," said Kendra Johnson, regional public relations manager for Sandals Resorts in Negril.

Paulette Heron, manager of the Women's Centre, expressed the value of the activity noting that, "the most important thing about this outreach was that it inspired the girls.

"They were able to hear personal stories about similar life experiences from some members of the team and that made them connect and helped them to understand that they should not be confined to their situation," she said.

The youngsters were also encouraged to highlight women in their lives, particularly family members and staff at the centre, who have served as role models, pushing them to seize the best of what life still has to offer.

The students were elated.

"We found the sessions to be very enriching and we learnt a lot, especially about how we can move forward with our lives," said one of the young mothers, who added that they also welcomed the opportunity to interact with the resorts' team members and learn about the various career options in the tourism field.

Throughout the two-hour session, several of the teens received spa teasers, donations of children's books and clothing items, while staff members were gifted with teaching aides.

The Women's Centre of Jamaica was founded in 1978 in response to the high level of teenage pregnancy in Jamaica and focuses on providing education, training and developmental counseling, by improving levels of employment and productivity among teenagers and delaying unwanted pregnancies.

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