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NPSC Announces Latest Initiative to Promote Fatherhood

The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), an agency of the Ministry of Education and Youth (MOEY), has announced its latest initiative aimed at promoting fatherhood and enhancing effective parenting practices across Jamaica.

‘Men Who Mentor’ campaign is set to kick off with an empowerment meeting on June 12, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the NPSC, Kaysia Kerr, told JIS News that the ‘Men Who Mentor’ initiative is a pivotal step in the NPSC’s overarching mission to foster positive parenting dynamics within Jamaican households.

“We recognise the vital role of fathers in child development and family stability. The campaign seeks to engage men from diverse backgrounds, equipping them with the tools and knowledge needed to become effective mentors and fathers,” she said.

Ms. Kerr noted that approximately 100 men, some of whom are already enrolled in the NPSC’s Parent Mentorship Programme, will participate in this event, adding that “the intention is to build their capacities, through training modules, in effective parenting to improve their own parenting skills as they provide mentorship to prospective fathers (teenage boys)”.

Data gathered by the NPSC reveal that many Jamaican men express a preference for training and engagement led by fellow men, perceiving such interactions as non-threatening and more conducive to learning.

This preference stems from a widespread belief that sessions led by women can sometimes be perceived as demoralising or confrontational, particularly in households where men are less involved in parenting responsibilities.

“With a significant number of Jamaican households being led by single-parent women and a concerning trend of fatherlessness among young men, the NPSC aims to address these challenges by empowering men to take an active role in mentorship and parenting. By providing support and encouragement to fathers, the initiative seeks to mitigate the risk of young men being drawn into gangs and other negative influences,” Ms. Kerr explained.

The ‘Men Who Mentor’ empowerment meeting will feature distinguished male presenters, to include the Archbishop of Kingston, the Most Revd. Kenneth Richards; Lecturer, University of the West Indies, Dr. Herbert Gayle; and Psychologist, Dr. Ainsley Deer.

Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, will set the tone for the day, delivering an inspiring charge to all participants.

The NPSC is inviting all interested individuals, particularly fathers and prospective mentors, to join this groundbreaking campaign and contribute to the positive transformation of Jamaican families and communities.

According to Ms. Kerr, the NPSC is dedicated to promoting effective parenting practices and supporting families in nurturing the holistic development of children and adolescents.

Through various initiatives and programmes, the Commission aims to strengthen family bonds, empower parents, and create a supportive environment for the well-being of Jamaican youth.