U.S. Embassy helps produce ‘You’re a Star, Stella!’ children’s workbook on coping with domestic violence

Supported with a grant from the U.S. Embassy and in partnership with the Barbados Child Care Board, a Caribbean version of ‘Stella’ was produced by UK-based organization Do the Right Thing Limited and will be distributed to schools across Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

Children from local schools, representatives from international organizations and NGO’s that address the issue of domestic violence were also present…

Ambassador to Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean Larry L. Palmer welcomed participants while Barbadian Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett had the following advice…

This workbook ‘You’re a Star Stella‘ is indeed a very important tool in that, it allows children to become familiar with their feelings and provides the necessary tools to assist them should they be involved in situations that make them feel uncomfortable.

This workbook is therefore an empowering tool which provides information that is age appropriate and will be used by the Child Care Board in its work within the nation’s Primary Schools.

I am told that since 1999 the Child Care Board has been partnering with the Ministry of Education through its work within the primary schools, in a preventative programme, which seeks to impart primary age children, with the skills and knowledge about the concept of a safe-touch versus and inappropriate touch. This worthwhile partnership has been of significant benefit to the nation’s children and their families by equipping you the children with the necessary self-help skills.

In 1999, the Child Care Board conducted a Pilot project in Child Abuse Awareness in two (2) primary schools and because of the success of that pilot project, this programme continues in the primary schools today. (In this photo, Min. Blackett, Child Care Board's Dir. Joan Crawford & US Ambassador Palmer look at the workbook and assess its usefulness for classrooms)

In 1999, the Child Care Board conducted a Pilot project in Child Abuse Awareness in two (2) primary schools and because of the success of that pilot project, this programme continues in the primary schools today. (In this photo, Min. Blackett, Child Care Board’s Dir. Joan Crawford & US Ambassador Palmer look at the workbook and assess its usefulness for classrooms)

Ladies and gentlemen, the objectives of the safe touch awareness raising prevention programme are as follows:

o To assist children in understanding their bodies

o To teach children the concept of “Good Touch, Bad Touch

o To teach children methods of protecting themselves from abuse.
o To teach children how to report on matters of concern or abuse for themselves that is self-reporting, or reporting on a peer in need of protection; and importantly

o To teach children about the role and function of the Child Care Board, a place where they can access direct assistance.

This programme is conducted over six (6) sessions, with each session lasting approximately forty-five (45) minutes. To facilitate participation among students several mediums are used including:

• Art that is drawing, painting, or crayoning

• Story telling

• Film, and
• Open discussion

Parents and teachers are of necessity also involved in the process, and are provided with information relative to the areas being covered.

I am pleased to inform you that the six (6) weeks programme has been delivered to all of the rural primary schools and some primary schools in St. Michael, and will continue until all schools are covered.

For the period 1999 to present, approximately six thousand (6,000) children between ages five (5) to eleven (11) years from ninety (90) schools have participated in the programme.

The Child Care Board proposes to continue this Project in eighteen (18) primary schools over the next year with the notable addition of an added resource, the workbook, ‘You’re a Star Stella.’ This workbook will further empower at least three hundred (300) students and their teachers on the issues of child abuse and self-awareness in the period 2013-2014.

It will bring needed attention to the fact that our bodies are to be treated with respect and should be protected from abuse and harm. It will enable children to establish and maintain good boundaries in all of their inter-personal relationships.

It will bring needed attention to the fact that our bodies are to be treated with respect and should be protected from abuse and harm. It will enable children to establish and maintain good boundaries in all of their inter-personal relationships.

Boys and Girls, this workbook has been developed to support your learning. Like Stella, you will be able to know the difference between a good touch and a bad touch; you will also learn how to say “No” and be able to identify who you should incidents to. You will be able to jot down ideas on how you are feeling and about the things that you like. I encourage you to use the strategies in this workbook to promote a positive and proactive approach to your development.

As the saying goes, 'knowledge is power'; by applying what you learn from this book you will receive not only power but you will be able to make wise decisions and choices as you interact with others on a daily basis. From my perspective, each one of you is a star and I urge you to not only seek to obtain knowledge but to also pursue understanding and wisdom in every aspect of life. These qualities will never disappoint you as you grow and develop on towards adulthood.

As the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’; by applying what you learn from this book you will receive not only power but you will be able to make wise decisions and choices as you interact with others on a daily basis. From my perspective, each one of you is a star and I urge you to not only seek to obtain knowledge but to also pursue understanding and wisdom in every aspect of life. These qualities will never disappoint you as you grow and develop on towards adulthood.

We at the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, the Child Care Board and our partners in the Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Innovation are committed to your success and will do all in our power to protect you as you progress towards these goals.

As stars you should continue to shine as brightly as you can and be the best that you can be!

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