Parent-leaders in Trench Town and Denham Town (Kingston, Jamaica) are working together to support other parents in their communities, as part of a parenting initiative coordinated by Fight for Peace via the UP Unity & Peace Collective.
“You learn it’s not you alone. Even with my son, I get encouragement”, says Petrona, one of six parent leaders. “I can see a difference. So much has been added and gives me a drive to continue my journey.”
Fight for Peace is implementing the parenting programme in collaboration with UNICEF, under the European Union funded Spotlight Initiative. The part of the initiative currently in progress aims to teach positive parenting techniques to community members in order to reduce gender-based violence.
Meanwhile, the wider project offers a series of activities related to parenting, sport for development, and behaviour change. These include training sessions on gender-based violence, positive parenting strategies and employability, and public education campaigns. Sports sessions integrated with psychosocial support for young people in the community also form part of the programme.
Equipped with new practices on discipline, communication and gender-based issues, the participants on the parenting programme, known as master trainers, are ready to spread the word. These master trainers will create their own groups to share what they have learned, and will also work with Fight for Peace to create a public awareness campaign.
“I really enjoyed the sessions. I am practicing what I learned. Where I had weaknesses, based on the sessions, we were corrected and I learnt from them,” says Charmaine, a parent and master trainer in the programme.
Taire, one of two fathers in the group, explained that “the sessions brought me back to when I was a young man growing up. It helped us, and at a level we can talk to other parents. We can only get better and help other parents to achieve the goal of being better – not judging them.”
Samora, the other dad in the group, added: “the session was very good, the support – moral, and otherwise was overwhelming…I think most (if not all) of us will take that into whatever we are doing in this parenting thing.”
The experiences and feedback from these participants is testament to the impact the parenting programme is having on those involved. And, with the model aimed at equipping participants to train others in the community, this promises to be the tip of the iceberg for shared learning towards positive parenting, a vital element in the growth and development of our young people.
UP Unity & Peace, a Collective programme coordinated by Fight for Peace, brings together organisations and services to deliver programmes and support to young people across six communities in Kingston, Jamaica. The Collective has been operating since 2015.