Coudray: Stop child abuse
By Cecily Asson Saturday, August 11 2012
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Natalia graduates: Gender, Youth and Child Development Minister Marlene Coudray presents a gift to Natalia Oliver, a graduate of the pipe fabricating ...
Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Marlene Coudray yesterday made a stirring appeal for women to be on the look out for children who might be victims of abuse in their communities.
Coudray was at the time addressing a graduation ceremony for participants of the Non- Traditional Skills Training Programme for Women at the City Hall Auditorium, San Fernando.
According to Coudray, women are not speaking out although they might be aware of it.
“I appeal to you women to look out for the children out there. We are reading what is happening and a lot of times the neighbours, and whoever, would know and maybe shoo shoo a little bit, but you need to contact the authorities every time you hear or see or know about a child who is being abused,” she said.
Yesterday 190 women graduated from the six-month non-traditional skills training programme in areas such as welding, plumbing, woodwork, electrical installation, masonry/tiling/bricklaying and pipe fabricating. The also completed courses in automotive, small appliance and computer repairs and also received life skills training. They attended classes three evenings per week at centres across the country. They were all presented with completion certificates and efforts are now being made to have them move on to an advanced course in their chosen field.
Government has invested $2 million in the programme, Coudray said.
She remains concerned women are still “grossly under represented in the non-traditional fields”.
Programmes like skills training for women are expected to close the gap between men and women especially in the non-traditional work areas.
The programme caters for women who have been through different challenges and “have not been able to reach where they wanted in terms of secondary and tertiary education,” Coudray said.
Valedictorian Francillia Rogers, who received a certificate in electrical installation, said the trained women now have the opportunity to work alongside professionals and even open their own businesses.
“Today we can not only do welding, plumbing and computer repairs, but a variety of other skills that were taught in our classes. Within this journey we overcame the fears of height, heat, electrical shocks and enhanced self confidence while becoming strong, mentally and physically,” Rogers said.
During training the women learnt to calculate measurement, use technical tools and equipment, work in teams and other tasks with which they were not familiar, she said.
Roger begged the ministry not to shut down the programme which, according to her, has been transforming many lives over the years. Rogers also urged her “sisters” to use the skills to improve their lives. Gifts of tools were presented to several women who excelled in the class.