Paint and brushes in hand, on Friday CIBC FirstCaribbean team members, arrived ready and willing to give a facelift to the interior of Heritage House, St George’s, home to the Programme for Adolescent Mothers (PAM).
The goal of the PAM programme is to give teenage girls the opportunity to continue their education after becoming mothers. It also endorses and actively supports the expression that ‘education is a right and not a privilege,’ for all of the nation’s youth.
Administrative Assistant, Human Resources at CIBC FirstCaribbean, and Team Leader for the day, Joanna Marryshow said her team was happy to take part in the renovations under the bank’s Adopt-A-Cause Programme.
“The bank is happy to have developed an ongoing relationship with PAM over the years,” she said, and added that the team was especially pleased to volunteer for the project given the vital role PAM plays in offering “access to education, counselling and second chances for young women in our country.”
The historic building in Mt Parnassus, St George, includes 2 classrooms, a nursery, a conference/counselling room, a kitchen, 2 office rooms, separate rooms for staff and ill students, and a fully operational Information Technology lab.
The bank team undertook the task of painting the counselling room, bathroom and passageway. They also made a financial contribution toward the repair of the industrial stove used for food and nutrition classes and culinary skills.
Alva Lawrence, manager at PAM, welcomed the volunteer work and financial donation. “PAM is making the difference in the lives of young women, with upward of 500 young mothers having been beneficiaries of the programme since its inception in 1995,” she said.
“Many of them have completed their secondary education and become gainfully employed, and a number have also completed tertiary education here in Grenada and even abroad. PAM can and does make a difference. The support of CIBC FirstCaribbean and other corporate entities is pivotal to the growth of the programme, which can accommodate up to 50 participants at any given time. There is also an outreach programme at Pearls Community Centre,” she noted.
In September 2009, PAM began the process of becoming an independent non-governmental organisation (NGO). And in 2010, they received the National Youth Award from the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Sports for ‘One of The Most Outstanding NGOs in Youth Development.’