Dec 13, 2019 News Comments Off on First Lady’s foundation aims to empower teen mothers, other youths
The ANIRA Foundation was launched yesterday at the Cara Lodge, chaired by First Lady, Ms. Sandra Granger and involving its Board
of Directors. This nonprofit company is dedicated to the education and empowerment of vulnerable groups, particularly targeting teenage mothers, since the rate of teenage pregnancy is high.
It allows for the provision of academic assistance to teen mothers. This includes the completion of their secondary education and gives the opportunity for the sitting of CXC examinations and some support to those who are pursuing tertiary education.
The foundation has embarked on a project, “Pilots of the Caribbean” with the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Social Protection to reduce the number of vulnerable girls in and out of schools. This is to decrease the rates of HIV and Syphilis among sexually active youths, immunize girls against HPV and increase the number of post-pregnant teens that complete school or vocational skills.
The project also aims to create awareness of gender based violence and its effect on vulnerable women’s exposure to HIV.
This project which is under the umbrella of SCLAN (Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Plan – of which the First Lady is Vice Chair), and is supported by the Gilead Foundation, at a cost of US$251,000. The foundation will also seek to foster a passion for Science, Technology and Mathematics, with the distribution of “Robot Kits” to school-aged youths in communities across Guyana, including Hinterland Regions through collaboration with STEM Guyana.
The ANIRA Foundation was conceptualised in 2017. Anira is a street in Queenstown, Georgetown, in which the First Lady grew up, and the entity was established because of the recognition of her role as finite, as she wanted to continue the work that she had begun to educate and empower vulnerable sectors.
The foundation is funded through donations from private individuals and organisations.
Guyana United Youth Development Association of New York contributed earlier in the year, and this facilitated the purchase of the competition robot and kit for the STEM Guyana Team, while the Pilot of the Caribbean project was funded by Gilead Science, and will commence at the beginning of 2020.
The foundation also, through funding, seeks to continue remedial education for Primary school children in Buxton/ Friendship and Lusignan areas. Currently there are 270 students from grades 2-6 enrolled in the programme. This programme has seen an increased in literacy rates and four more students who wrote the National Grade Six Assessment gained places in Secondary Schools.
ICT workshops for adolescents and out-of-school youth will be supported by this very programme.
The ANIRA Foundation’s Board of Directors include First Lady Sandra Granger, Ms. Karen Abrams, Ms. Clonel Samuels-Boston, Ms. Ingrid Fung, Ms. Evelyn Hamilton, Ms, Michelle Johnson, Mr. Clinton Kirton, Ms. Patrice La Fleur, Ms. Julie Matthews, Ms. Sandra Shivdat, Lt. Col. Yvonne Smith, Ms. Joycelyn Wilson and Advisor Dr. Janice Imhoff, M.D.
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