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…
12 January 2021

Children who become mothers need all the help

For these girls becoming pregnant can be so confusing, and lonely. At the beginning of COVID-19, I paid tribute to one of my students at her funeral. She left behind her son to the care of his great grandmother. This teen mother was only 13 years old – a loss that has been both heart-breaking but also a motivation for me as a counsellor at the…, They are still children, The stigma that is placed on these girls is quite disturbing and appalling. Contrary to how it appears, some are very much innocent; not all teen mothers participated in consensual sex. There are girls who were victimised but instead of being supported and protected, they are being ridiculed. I want to put this out there that these teen mothers…, Inspired by their bravery, What I miss most though is the face-to-face classes and being able to interact in person to put a smile on their faces. They really lack access to many things generally and with COVID-19 I was scared for them – about them being further left behind. In St Ann, the tourism industry was gravely impacted and some of their parents lost their jobs. Even…, Counselling is 24/7 work, I always extend myself to my students; I am only a telephone or text message away. I use a work mobile device thanks to UNICEF, and with support the Women’s Centre has strategically repositioned its Counsellors to respond to the needs of our teen mothers. I work with girls from St. Ann, St. Mary and Trelawny. Despite the poor conditions of the…, What’s UNICEF doing? , During COVID-19 through UNICEF, the  Spotlight Initiative in Jamaica  is providing support to the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, operating under the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, to ensure adolescent mothers continue to receive psychosocial and educational support from WCJF counsellors during the COVID-19 pandemic.…