On Wednesday, 28 July 2021 the Ministry for Social Development, Housing and Community Empowerment, under the Grenada Spotlight Initiative, hosted a National Parenting Programme Graduation ceremony for the Byelands and Lacabakay Communities.
The programme is a national initiative which seeks to support, educate and empower parents in Grenada on the importance of being positive role models to their children. Thirty-five parents and parents-to-be graduated, receiving certificates of completion. They are now equipped with the tools and skillsets to effectively perform the task of parenting.
The programme combines parenting education with life skills and teaches young parents about managing conflict and communicating effectively while building their confidence and self-esteem so they can have the appropriate conversations with their children. It also includes family violence prevention programming on topics such as healthy relationships, sexuality, and disciplining your child through nonviolent means.
Hon. Delma Thomas Minister for Social Development, Housing and Community Empowerment expressed her gratitude for the Spotlight Initiative funding as it allows for the implementation of programmes such as these and commended the graduates for understanding the importance of this initiative — “it is a crucial time for us to be able to provide guidance for parents and parents to be, on how you can take real, proper care of your children.”
Parents will now be better able to practice norms, attitudes, and behaviours that are based on equality between males and females and put an end to normalising family violence. They will also be able to use various strategies to meet the social, physical, intellectual, cultural, emotional, and spiritual needs of their children, and themselves.
Through cultural presentations and testimonials, the parents indicated that they benefited from examining who they were, as individuals, and they became more aware of how that contributes to their children’s lives. They spent time learning how mothers, fathers and guardians can provide for the health and wellbeing of their children. One of the graduates, Nedra Joseph Forteau, stated that, because of the interactive sessions, she is “now more comfortable discussing certain things” with her children, such as relationships and the importance of education.
The Parenting, Health and Wellness sessions are expected to result in long-term benefits for the quality of family-life in those communities. In the coming months, additional cycles will be conducted in other communities in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.