THE Human Services and Social Security Ministry, on Friday, launched its Anti-Bullying Campaign (ABC) “Live Good, Be Good, Do Good” at the Bookland Gardens, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown.
The launch of event comes on the heels of the conclusion of a successful collaborative initiative with the United Bridge Builders Mission (UBBM) and the ministry which saw weeks of sensitisation and awareness programmes being rolled out in childcare facilities across Guyana.
Delivering the feature address, subject minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, said the ministry is cognisant of the prevalent acts of bullying against children and how it adversely affects them.
“Bullying raises its head in so many spaces and places. People are bullied all the time. Sometimes they don’t recognise it. And then there are bullies who would want not to be bullies. But bullying comes from a place of insecurity and a place of fear and many times a place of them being bullied at one time too,” Minister Persaud said.
Minister Persaud noted that the programme will not only target those who are bullied but the bullies themselves.
The campaign, she further explained, is a mission to end bullying, create awareness and encourage patrons to share stories and words of positivity via the social media campaign “LehWeTalk4Reel”.
“This is public awareness so that people understand what bullying is. This is the national campaign against bullying… it is not only about saying no to bullying, it is saying what you should do to stop bullying, we do good things in other words we start the chain of kindness.”
Meanwhile, UBBM Director Bonita Montaque highlighted the success of the collaborative initiative between her organisation and the ministry.
“Phase one of this anti-bullying programme was presented by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and our very own subject minister in collaboration with United Bridge Builders Mission implementing partner. This phase commenced on July 30 with a virtual training for about 45 caregivers from a list of 65 persons.”
The two-day session saw participants being engaged in varying number of topics geared at building awareness and response capacity to acts of bullying.
“These two days sessions engage participants in various areas from self-care to understanding their role in prevention, from bullying and developing productive professional relationship with the children in their care. They were very engaging, receptive and has pledged to be great gatekeepers.”
While the initiative was a success, Montaque related that it was not without its challenges.
“This segment of the training was not completed without challenges. One main challenge was unstable Wi-Fi or poor signals in the children’s homes, technical challenges for participants in using Zoom platform, and the fact that several persons at times were in one device.”
Nevertheless, she said the organisation will continue to partner with the ministry to see the roll out of several projects.
A total of seven activities are expected to be rolled out under the anti-bullying campaign.