THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH AFFAIRS HOLDS SUCCESSFUL HEALTHY TEENS WORKSHOPThursday 16th February 2012
In an effort to support healthy teenage sexual choices, the Department of Youth Affairs held its annual National Teen Forum at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre on Monday 6th February 2011. The Forum which was held in conjunction with the Department of Education as part of National Education Week is part of the DYA’s strategy to encourage and support behaviour change with respects to health life style especially healthy sexuality.
Over 250 students attended from a number of secondary schools across the island. The event was coordinated by Desiree Weston Williams, Programme Officer within the DYA. A brief opening ceremony preceded the workshop, where remarks were given by Mrs. Williams, the Director of Youth Affairs, Ms Cleon Athill, and the head of the Education Broadcast Unit, Mr Phillip Lloyd. The Forum consisted of two workshops that were done concurrently: the student workshop and the teachers workshop.
The students were invited to watch a film- documentary “Pop culture and HIV” produced by RE TV. This documentary explored the influence of popular Caribbean music- Dance hall music on teen’s sexual attitudes and behaviour and the transmission of HIV and AIDS. This session was facilitated by Ms. Zahra Airall who engaged the students in a healthy and exciting discussion after the viewing of the film.
The Department of Youth Affairs once again shared with students its plans to mount the second component of the Health Teen Project, Youth for Positive Living Clubs. The Youth for Positive Living Program is the behaviour change component of the Health Teen Project. Teen participating in the Forum are expected and encouraged to form YPL clubs at school where they can provide support to each other, continue the dialogue relating to healthy teen sexuality and mount related projects at the school level.
The Forum ended in a Pledge Ceremony. Students were given the opportunity to publicly declare a position, and affirm their commitment to living healthy responsible sexual lives—Students pledged that they would respect and honour themselves in the choices that they make everyday.
Both teachers and students thoroughly expressed their pleasure with the Forum
The Department extends its gratitude to all who contributed to the success of the 2012 National Teen Forum. Let us continue to support our teens as they “make healthy choices everyday”
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