by Donella Hosten
The Gender and Family Affairs Division of the Ministry of Social Development and Housing is once again raising awareness about Gender-Based Violence, under the theme “I respect you; You respect me #ValuingBoundaries.”
The Roving School Caravan is an original project of the ministry, sponsored by UNICEF. In Carriacou, the caravan began on Monday, 29 May at the Hillsborough Secondary School and continued the next day at the Bishop’s College. Topics covered included abuse, healthy and unhealthy relationships, bodily integrity and boundaries, supported by games and group discussions.
Gender Based Violence respondent, Rachel James co-facilitated the discussions. She noted that “it’s always important talking to our young people about the issues surrounding gender-based violence,” as teenagers need to understand what it means to be in healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Students of both schools expressed their gratitude to the ministry and its facilitators, saying that the caravan was a learning experience, and hoped this initiative would continue.
The caravan made its Grenada stops at Presentation Brother’s College on Friday, 2 June; and GBSS and NEWLO Mt St Irvin on Tuesday, 6 June. The caravan will visit NEWLO Palmiste on Friday, 16 June.
Elaine Henry-McQueen, Senior Programme Officer, Gender and Family Affairs at the ministry, said the response from the visited schools has been fantastic and the execution of the programme was timely. There has been great student participation seeking clarification on issues related to Gender Based Violence, sexual violence definitions and topics like ‘sexual consent under the influence.’
Henry-McQueen noted that the caravan’s schedule has had to be adjusted, as all schools are in exams mode. Visits will either be scheduled as much as possible between the end of exams and the closing of this school term or accommodated early in the new term.