Multi-sectoral approach needed to end violence against women and girls
Corentyne, Berbice, Guyana: In its continued efforts to eliminate violence against women and children, UNICEF Guyana, within the framework of the European Union-United Nations (EU-UN) Spotlight Initiative, handed over some key supplies to the several schools and health centres supported by the St. Francis Community Developers (SFCD) umbrella in the East-Berbice Corentyne Region.
The donation comprised of tents, smart televisions, printers with backup batteries, backpacks, umbrellas and water bottles, filing cabinets and stationery supplies among other items to increase the service delivery.
Mr. Nicolas Pron, UNICEF Area Representative to Guyana and Suriname, indicated during the handover event that the items donated would go towards the continued efforts on the reformation of the education and health capacity development within the region.
Dr. Vishalya Sharma, Regional Health Officer of Region six, expressed gratitude to UNICEF for its contribution to the region and noted that the supplies will aid in training some 44 part-time workers associated with her department. The workers will also be trained to sensitize persons within the community on gender-based violence related issues and on the reporting mechanism for violence within the region.
“We know it takes a collective effort of the public, private and intergovernmental agencies along with the people to make rapid changes possible."
“These part-time workers will be trained to assist the health centres at Angoy Avenue and Port Mourant to help publicize activities at the health centres, and also report instances of violence where necessary,” she said.
Students and teachers at the various schools who received some of the donation, also thanked UNICEF for its continued support to the region. The donation will enhance the delivery of the Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) subject that is part of the schools’ curriculum.
While region six is the second largest populated region in Guyana, it is plagued with many challenges including poor parenting, alcohol abuse and gender-based and family violence.
However, since the introduction of the Spotlight Initiative in the region in collaboration with the St. Francis Community Developers, reports have indicated that there have been many improvements in the awareness and reporting of violence against women and girls within the region.
UNICEF Area Representative commended all stakeholders for their commitment to the programme while noting that it takes a multisectoral approach to end violence against women and girls.
“We know it takes a collective effort of the public, private and intergovernmental agencies along with the people to make rapid changes possible. It is always a great feeling to witness the works of our implementing partners, especially when they understand the vision and when they work towards achieving that vision,” Pron said.
“While we are far from achieving the goal we really want to achieve, we cannot do it alone! we are pleased to see the progression so far. Be assured of UNICEF’s continued commitment to ending violence against women and girls in this region, and in Guyana” he stated.
Mr. Alex Foster, President of the SFCD, who oversees the implementation of the prevention component of the Spotlight Initiative in region six Angoy’s Avenue and Port Mourant areas, also thanked UNICEF for its unwavering support over the past two years under the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative.
Several other stakeholders from within the region including the Town Clerk, staff from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Human Services and the Guyana Police Force attended the handover event and also took the opportunity to highlight other areas within the region that need support.
The European Union and United Nations have combined their efforts to strategically eliminate the societal ill of violence against women and girls, in keeping with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the European Union's global human rights priority to achieve gender equality under the Spotlight Programme in various countries around the world.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.