Babies are born very dependent on their parents. The evidence of the significant role of loving, nurture and the emotional, social and cognitive development of children is powerful. It is vital that babies and their parents are supported during the antenatal and post-natal time to promote attachment. Without a good initial bond, children are less likely to grow up to become happy, independent and resilient adults.
It is with this in mind that the Social Affairs Department through its psychosocial support programme has been offering parenting education programmes in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to expectant mothers and their partners. The programme that is on offer to all expectant parents at various health centers to support them as they prepare for the birth of the child, has grown from strength to strength since 2013. Parents have testified that this programme has provided them with much psychosocial support to understand the different phases of their pregnancy and child birth but more importantly how to cope with the development stages of their infants.
In a small ceremony that took place on 28th December 2022 at the STC Conference room, some 121 participants of year 2018-2020 who participated in all 6 sessions received their certificates as evidence of their commitment to acquire additional skills to better understand the development stages and milestones of their young infants and improved parenting practice.
When addressing the participants, the Minister for Employment and Social Affairs, Mrs. Patricia Francourt thanked all the participants who willingly partook in the sessions and acquired additional information and skills to better care for their child. The Minister’s appreciation was also extended to the fathers who supported their partners during the sessions. Minister Francourt expressed her Ministry’s commitment in helping all parents in the upbringing of their children, ensuring adequate support for the families with much emphasis on child protection. “The responsibility to nurture a child is one without limits and continues until they become adults. It starts at home and is further supported in the community. It is my wish for the programme to continue as it has shown the importance in supporting parents during and after delivery.
During the ceremony, the Minister also recognized the five facilitators who through their devotion ensured that the programme was of great success. Each received a small token of appreciation from the Principal Secretary for Social Affairs, Mrs. Linda William-Melanie. A special mention was made for Mrs. Mirena Souris, one of the past coordinator and also the current coordinator of the programme Ms. Gina Laporte. Minister had this strong message acknowledging the support of the Ministry of Health and all programmes managers of the various health centers.“In the spirit of giving every child a very good start, it is vital that all partners work together for the benefit of our children”
Elma Dine, a new parent who participated in the programme, testified how it has helped her to embrace her new role as a mother and how it is helping her in raising her child. She further encouraged future parents to enroll and to make use of all the information and techniques they get out of it.
On behalf of all the participants especially his fellow male colleagues, Randolph Accouche thanked all the facilitators and everyone who made this programme possible. The sessions have personally helped him in acquiring further knowledge to better help his partner during the pre and post-delivery stage.
The ceremony was attended by participants from all districts over Mahe where the Parenting programme was conducted. In attendance were also the Ambassador for Women and Children, Dr. Erna Athanasius, Chief Executive Officer HCA, Dr. Danny Louange and Chief Nursing Officer of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Gylian Mein.