A new Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) called “We are Gutsy” on Monday commenced a training session for facilitators, who will, in turn, help children to better react when they are faced with tough situations. The two-day training session, which commenced at the National Racquet Centre, at Woolford Avenue, Georgetown, is geared towards helping children between the ages of three to 12 years old develop independent thinking skills and act wisely when parents or teachers are not around. The programme will also teach children core values such as respect and honesty among others.Chairperson of the organisation, Janice Hall explained the importance of this initiative as she outlined that various facilitators are being trained so that they can continue helping young people even after the programme wraps up on Friday.“Over the many years of my life’s existence…I have met far too many Guyanese who are broken. I use the word broken loosely meaning they are not necessarily falling apart but just not able to cope with life and they are years apart [or] generations apart…if we were to take time to talk to these hurt souls in most instances, we find their brokenness can be traced back to their childhood,” she explained.According to her, most times these “broken people” grow up with persons who have been hurt, broken and angry. This cycle, she said, continues, as one broken generation gives birth to another.Recognising this, the Chairperson informed that the group is aimed at helping parents and guardians provide children with social and emotional skills they need to live healthy lives.“We begin with the premise that we all need to understand ourselves before we can empathise with others…We are Gutsy aims to be a positive influence on Guyanese youth through dialogue, instruction and mentorship so as to encourage an improvement in attitudes and behaviours,” the Chair added.Meanwhile, the Social Protection Minister, Amna Ally lauded the programme as she highlighted how various domestic issues affect children’s mental health. Ally said, “The impact of small family norms, nuclear family systems and cognitive-driven curriculum increases distress of adolescents. This in some cases are reflected by high suicide rates and growing crime among our young persons”.In this regard, the Minister highlighted the important role the new group will be playing in minimising the stress levels of young persons or at least helping them to control themselves. In addition, she said she was happy to learn that some sessions will cover independent thinking, how to socialise and make new friends, empathy and how to take action when parents or teachers are absent to intervene.“I am quite confident that this initiative will bridge communication barriers with parents and other adults. It will enable our young people to handle stressful situations effectively without losing one’s temper or becoming moody,” she concluded.Meanwhile, another representative of the organisation, Dr Rose October, listed a few of the activities the participants will be involved in over the next few days. She noted that facilitators will be involved in the training which winds down today while on Wednesday to Friday their lessons learnt will be tested as the teams head to Leonora, West Coast Demerara, to help build emotional and social skills.
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