You are here

Representatives from UNFPA attended a group counseling session for adolescent mothers while conducting a site visit in July at the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF). Addressing the issue of gender-based violence (GBV), the brief seminar opened with a discussion about violence against women and girls.

Harold Robinson, UNFPA Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said in his address to the teenagers, “It has become very clear that you know your rights can’t be taken away by anybody - partners, families, or society at large.” He continued by sharing that UNFPA was proud to continue to make a difference by transforming young lives while imploring those present to do the same by becoming positive influences.

The State Minister in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Alando Terrelonge, also spoke at the event. He encouraged the youngsters to continue elevating themselves while playing their part in raising the next generation. “There’s nothing that says your child won’t become the Prime Minister or a lawyer or that you can’t own your home in Cherry Gardens,” he said. “Empower yourselves with education because education is the best gift you can give yourselves.”

Additionally, he reminded them of the importance of family planning. “Having two is better than having too many,” he added. “There are millions of women who would like to have children but can’t. So you have been blessed. But now, be careful because if not, you can turn that blessing into a curse. It becomes a curse in the sense that the cycle of poverty continues, and you don’t get the chance to make your life or children’s lives better.”

Dr. Zoe Simpson, Executive Director of the WCJF, thanked UNFPA for their continued support in ensuring that the population's rights are protected. “We value the partnership providing support, equipping counselors to identify and treat GBV in the midst of the pandemic.”

The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF), through its commitment to the improvement of educational attainment and Adolescent Reproductive Health, strives to promote a holistic approach to services and information for the youth of Jamaica. Their efforts include providing education for adolescent mothers who drop out of the formal school system.




UNFPA’s mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled.