20 January 2023

Shelly-Ann to young moms: “I am strong because of my child.”

[Scroll down to watch video] When I got pregnant, a lot of people thought that my career had ended. I remember when I got home, I was nervous and scared because I thought that this pregnancy was going to stop everything. But I also remember after a week, I told myself, “I am going to do this. I am going to be so much better, not only for myself,…, Running my fastest times after giving birth, Even though I had a career at the time, and still had things I wanted to accomplish, I decided that I am now going to have a good pregnancy and get ready to be a good mom. This was not the end; I am going to come back. Make sure you give yourself the opportunity that when you have a child, or when you see your child, to tell yourself: “I am strong…, Make time for self-care, Also, remember that you can’t show up for your child unless you show up for yourself. That’s very important. You have to stand up in front of the mirror and ensure that you are showing up as your authentic self: "This is why I am showing up. I am showing up as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Why? Because Zyon Pryce needs me. But I need me first.” People…, What’s UNICEF doing?, The Empowered Futures Parenting Programme is designed to help adolescent mothers feel more empowered and confident about themselves and the care, protection and support they give to their children. The programme – which is the first of its kind in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region – is delivered by trained guidance counsellors employed by the…
27 May 2022

A father’s biggest job is to encourage your children

Taire participated in the UP Unity & Peace parenting programme coordinated by Fight for Peace in the Kingston Trench Town and Denham Town. As a master trainer his role is to train other parents in positive discipline, using a curriculum developed by Parenting Partners of the Caribbean. This was funded by UNICEF under the Spotlight Initiative, …, Family as a support system, He watches YouTube and he is fascinated with cooking, and he wants to learn and I encourage that. I love food, so here he and I are the same. My mother was a chef. It’s in our bloodline. Family helps your identity and to know that you belong. It’s appealing to know you have someone to look forward to being with, to think about. My mother was my…, Breaking the cycle of family violence, Growing up, too many of us get beatings and for some of us, it breaks us mentally. Then we pass the violence on in our relationships and in our child’s life. Some of us say ‘Mi used to this’, and turn to violence. But some of us will break this cycle; we don't want what happened to us growing up to happen to our kids. If violence has happened to…, Healthy friendships also important, I wanted to be a teacher, but it didn't happen. Now, I work in a factory for the past 15 years; and to me, the relationships I have there are like family. The conversation, the understanding, contact and friendship is important. When you grow with friends, they are family because each one of us move up together and have the same beliefs. I have…, What is UNICEF doing?, UNICEF Jamaica is supporting several parenting programmes under the Spotlight Initiative which is focused on ending family violence. These include the development and delivery of the “Family Focus” parenting curriculum in target communities, sensitisation sessions with parents in targeted schools and the soon-to-be-launch ParentText which will…
20 January 2022

I’m a teen mom dreaming big for me and my baby

Tajaun and his mother benefitted from a UNICEF-supported parenting programme operated by the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, which is designed to  help adolescent mothers feel more empowered and confident  about themselves and the care, protection and support they give to their children. By investing in adolescent parents today, this…, Positive parenting practices, When he is old enough, I will talk to Tajaun about wrong and right. I wouldn’t use corporal punishment as I think that’s a hard way for them to learn. If I beat my child, he would want to go elsewhere and have the thought of doing the same thing to others, so for me it’s better to talk to him. As mother and son, we have not reached that stage yet…, Being treated with respect, Here I get treated with respect. The Women’s Centre programme teaches us about how to take care of the baby and how to become more positive parents who can talk to our children instead of using violence. I want to encourage other young ladies to come here because they might also be thinking that their life is over, and I want to tell them they can…, What is UNICEF doing?, All parents navigate challenges as their children grow and develop. While many of these challenges are the same for adolescent parents and older parents, teenage parents will have to navigate additional challenges, such as finishing school while looking after a baby, and possibly feeling judged for being a teenage parent or overwhelmed by the…
21 July 2021

I help parents prevent family violence

At age 12, I learned a lesson about violence when I became a babysitter in my extended family. Growing up, I had already learned that the way to discipline was to beat, and so with my brothers, sister, and cousins, that was what I did. But then one day one of my brothers fought back and said, “Wait, when we get older, we are going to kill you.”…, The realities of inter-generational violence, With the Spotlight Initiative  I am happy to be on a pathway to recruit families and I am not afraid to go into any community to try and help them become better mothers and fathers, and that includes me as well. We hope for families to recognize that there are other ways to correct their children, to mentor and to nurture children. Really it is…, Demonstrating non-violent approaches, I have a male student now, and I have seen it more than once, where a girl is verbally abusive, and his response is to use physical abuse. The male student will claim that he was not hurting her, and so I must explain to him that physical approach is wrong. Likewise, I also must explain to the female student that her language is verbal abuse. In…, Children must be allowed to speak up, Children are not only receivers in the communication process. They must be listened to and given answers in a manner that they are able to understand properly. I no longer hold the view that they must be seen and not heard. They have a voice too! I must say that the Spotlight Initiative has made me more aware of the impacts of family and gender-…, About the Spotlight Initiative, Under the Spotlight Initiative – global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls – Children First through UNICEF, is training 50 community facilitators, like Ricardo, to promote positive parenting. Facilitators focus on preventing family violence and…