More than 20 women in Clarendon are to participate in a training programme geared at creating job opportunities for them.
Project GYAL – Guiding Young Ambitious Ladies – will be targeting women between the ages of 16 and 49 who did not finish high school and who are unemployed. Coordinator for the project, Joan Andrea Hutchinson, told The Gleaner that 25 women would be trained in Clarendon and a similar number in St Thomas. “They will be trained for 10 weeks, free of cost, in literacy, numeracy, information technology, entrepreneurship, life skills, and vocational skills,” said Hutchinson. The programme, which will begin on July 6 this year, is a gender-based initiative being executed by Children First Agency, a 22-year-old non-governmental organisation with a track record of executing life-changing initiatives for at-risk groups and which is funded by Grand Challenges Canada.
The training venue in the capital, May Pen, is still being finalised, but classes will be held tree times per week from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The venue for St Thomas is the Social Development Commission’s office at Springfield, across from the old Goodyear factory.
Giving details on Project GYAL, Hutchinson said that the mandate was to train and upskill women between 16 and 49 who have been exposed to gender-based violence, or intimate partner violence, or who are deemed at risk because of low basic education levels and minimal skills, factors that often make them financially dependent on a partner. “There is also a focus on sexual and reproductive health education to arm women with the knowledge to make better sexual and reproductive health choices. A psychologist is assigned to the programme to offer psychosocial support to the participants,” Hutchinson shared.
The first phase of the exercise ended recently in Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine where 50 women benefited.