…. In Regions 1, 7
In addressing the issue of violence against women and girls in Region One (Barima-Waini) and Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Blossom Inc., in collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched its ‘Spotlight initiative’, a program aimed at women empowerment and activism.
Through advocacy, sensitization, awareness and training, the program aims to achieve sustainable change that will protect women, children and other vulnerable people in the community. According to a statement from Blossom Inc., the program was launched in November 2020, with emphasis placed in Matthews Ridge, Region One, and Waramadong, Region 7, to give the region access to resources that could negate achievement. or the impact of this social issue.
The program is led by Arlyne Ramdatt and Joses Solomon, the Education Awareness Officers at Blossom Inc. The first successful outreach took place on January 20, 2021, at Matthew’s Ridge, which saw a total of 22 participants. The outreach sought to collaborate, educate and help encourage participants to address and manage gender-based violence in the community alongside other forms of violence and abuse.
The four-day tour included a two-day training workshop held at the community center for frontline community-based professionals, such as healthcare professionals, teachers, police officers, and child protection volunteers; secondary school students and parents also took part in the training.
“With this, the training workshop can be seen as a success and a great initiative that will receive follow-up and be applied in other communities. The training had several objectives that were supposed to provide people with practical skills, knowledge and sensitization to effectively manage violence, abuse and other violence in the community, ”the statement stated. The group’s first training session also included a module on self-care and mental health. At the end of the training, individuals received a certificate of completion from Blossom Inc., after which they were given the opportunity to volunteer and be part of a community support system of ‘Gatekeepers’ for the management and prevention of gender-based violence.
Before leaving the community, a youth peer support group was created for advocacy, abuse prevention, and support for the youth in the community who are battling the effects of these social impacts, with six young people volunteering to be is part of it.
“Particular emphasis is placed on the youths, not only because they are most affected by community violence and abuse, but because of the restrictions and policies of COVID-19, they are even more vulnerable to unsafe practices in the community and to many schools was their only place of safety, ”said Blossom Inc.
Blossom Inc. noted. also that it will continue to work to further engage the young people through several other initiatives it has planned for the year. One of his new initiatives is “Hear me out!” youth competition. The competition is open until February 6, with two age categories (12-16 and 17-25 years) aimed at visual artists, creative writing or through videography that give young people the opportunity to use their creative talents while address aspects of violence against women and girls in the community.