Sandals ‘embraces’ young mothers
Partners with Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation for ‘EMBRACE’ initiative targeting adolescent mothers
SANDALS Resorts in the Montego Bay region have reached out to the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation with the launch of its EMBRACE initiative, an interactive series of workshops targeting young mothers currently enrolled at the Montego Bay-based Centre.
Recently, female staff members from Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Carlyle visited the centre where they engaged the young girls in interactive discussions about TEENage pregnancy and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Select team members also shared stories about their own experiences as TEEN mothers, offering insight on how they've managed to bounce back and forge ahead by seizing opportunities and maintaining a positive outlook despite their challenges.
According to Khadine Daley, Sandals regional public relations manager for the Montego Bay Region, the EMBRACE initiative seeks to provide these young girls with information that will prepare them for the working world and guide them towards becoming strong, self-motivated young women.
The Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation, which started in 1978 as a project of the Bureau of Women's Affairs, has particular responsibility for promoting a new approach to the problems associated with TEENage pregnancy, especially in the area of interrupted education.
"In the olden days when young girls got pregnant there was no place for them to go and many times they would run away and end up getting pregnant over and over again," said Lurline Mitchell, Manager for the Women's Centre in Montego Bay.
"The Women's Centre provides hope for these young girls and gives them an opportunity to get back into the school system and make something of their lives."
Mitchell lauded the Sandals group for taking the initiative to partner with the Women's Centre.
"It's important for these young girls to know that they are not alone, and having the ladies from Sandals come in and share their own stories will only help to strengthen our message to these young girls that there is indeed life after TEENage pregnancy."
Rates of TEENage pregnancy in Jamaica are among the highest in the Caribbean with females between the ages of 10-19 accounting for approximately 25 per cent of all births in Jamaica.