Young politicians take time for young moms

| 25/05/2010

(CNS): Members of the Young United Democratic Party took five young moms from the Young Parents’ Programme out to lunch to celebrate Mothers Day recently. YUDP President Richard Christian said that, while everyone was running around getting gifts for their own mothers, the YUDP wanted to do something special for those who sometimes get forgotten. The YPP is a government run agency which provides education to mothers aged 15 to 20 during pregnancy. “Being a youth focused group, it was a no brainer that we should treat and encourage these young mothers and mothers to be,” said Christian.

The YUDP Leader believes that it benefits the politicians of tomorrow to understand the issues in the community by getting involved with and supporting the needs of young people.

"I am pretty sure that none of these teens planned to have a child at such a young age,”  he said. “That alone can bring an incredible amount of stress on them in a society where some people may even look down on them and automatically write them off as a failure. Our message to them was simple, we have all made mistakes and we have all made wrong turns in life. However past mistakes and wrong turns doesn’t have to determine your destination in life. These young ladies are still precious in God’s eyes and therefore should be in ours too.”

Richard said that he learned from the young women that what was once a healthy fully staffed day programme has over the years been reduced to a half day programme run by three staff members. Additionally, the bus which once serviced the YPP is now being shared between YPP and the department of Social Services.   
 
He said that not only have these cut backs resulted in the YPP having to reduce some of the practical and life skills courses that it once offered but the outreach to young parents without transportation has been severely limited along with the access to external activities. This means that many of these young parents will miss out on opportunities offered to their peers.
 
“Most of the young mother’s expressed to us that they love the programme and wouldlike to see the hours extended and to have some of the life skill courses brought back, in particular the cooking classes. We will meet with the Honourable Mike Adam, Minister overseeing the YPP and provide him with feedback and in our opinion the importance of this programme,” Richard added.
 
Programme Director Brenda Dawkins said the young mothers appreciated the YUDP Mother’s Day  gesture especially as it came from other young people. “This is a prime example of the kind of intervention that can go along way in encouraging our young people and at-risk youths. It was a warm, interactive and friendly environment and the young ladies felt relaxed with the young professionals,” Dawkins added.
 
YUDP Legal Advisor Chanda Glidden, who also attended the lunch, said it took courage for the young moms to be so open, "but we could see they appreciated us taking the time to get to know them and the issues concerning them without being judgmental. “I am proud to see these young ladies taking control of their lives by being part of the YPP which gives them the opportunity to enrich themselves past their current circumstances,” she added.
 
“The YPP is an excellent organization that reaches out to young parents who are facing challenging times at such a crucial stage of there development. They do their best with these young ladies. However, there is still so much more that could be done if this programme is given the support it needs to flourish. I appeal to individuals and businesses to get involved whether by mentoring, donating or volunteering in programmes like the YPP, which give so much to the lives of our young people and therefore make our community a greater place for the future.”
 
Persons interested in becoming involved in the YPP programme may contact the YUDP at the details below or the Family Resource Centre at 949-0006 or Brenda Dawkins at 925-5649.
 
The YUDP thanked Every Blooming Thing and Casanova’s Restaurant for their participation in making this luncheon a success.
 
The Young United Democratic Party is the youth arm of the United Democratic Party, whose mission is to be a voice for the youth and to prepare young Caymanians for responsible citizenship. 

To contact the YUDP call 943-3338 or email YUDP@udp.ky

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  1. Anonymous says:

    School-age girls who are pregnant or who have children should be allowed to stay in the "regular" school until they graduate, but also be supported by the YPP in practical skills and flexible, specialised education for young mothers. YPP should not be their one and only means of education. The last weeks of pregnancy and first weeks after the baby is born they would get the equivalent of amaternity leave from attendance and support for studying and learning from home. If they can’t make the grades because of the timing, they can stay back and repeat the year or take the exams at a later date. This would put less strain on the YPP and allow them to focus on the "extra" help these girls need.

    Stop punishing these girls by kicking them out of school for getting pregnant and not letting them back in once they have their child. Private schools can do what they want and choose to use Christian morals to kick girls out for a stupid mistake, but public schools should not be allowed to do  that. 

    Further, what about the boys? It takes two to make a baby, but you don’t see the young fathers getting kicked out of school, not allowed to walk across the stage at graduation or otherwise marginalised and publicly shunned.