Prime Minister's Press Secretary
Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony has
announced a brand new initiative to be undertaken in the third term of an SLP-led
Government to assist the island’s unemployed and unskilled single mothers.
Speaking at a recent Labour Party public meeting in Micoud, the Prime Minister,
who is also Leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), indicated it was his
Party’s intention to introduce the plan to assist the large numbers of
unemployed single mothers in Saint Lucia who are in need of help to learn a
trade, get a job and earn an income.
Dr Anthony said “the next Labour Administration will introduce a programme to
“And apart from paying them an allowance, the Government will also ensure that
their children are taken care of while they learn their new skills,” he added.
The Prime Minister’s announcement was greeted with much applause by those
gathered, many of whom were young, single parents.
He has since explained further that “this plan is already on the drawing board”
and assured that “it will be implemented in the best possible way to ensure that
it meets the needs of those who need it most.”
Dr Anthony said this programme “will benefit young persons in a big way, as a
significant number of the single parents are young persons.”
The announcement of the programme to support single mothers through training is
expected to be well subscribed, according to local sociologists.
A social analyst (formerly attached to the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College)
said: “This matter of single parenting is a serious social and sociological
“It is a phenomenon that has not been adequately looked at, but there are many
more single parents than we may realize.”
He added: “The other sociological factor is that not too many of us realize that
there are also single parent fathers, many of them fathers whose child or
children’s mother, or wife, would have left them on his account.”
“What happens in many of these cases,” he continued, “is that the single parent
fathers would leave the child or children in the care of his sister or mother
while seeking a job.”
He argued that “single parenthood is not restricted to one gender” and advised
that “when the Government starts this programme, it takes a gender-neutral
approach and defines it as a programme to assist single parents – both single
parent fathers and single parent mothers.”
Dr Anthony said the new programme “will complement others introduced over the
past nine years by the first two Labour administrations.”
The earlier initiatives that also aim at and attract and assist young people
include the National Skills Development Programme (NDSC) and the Youth
Enterprise Development Programme (YEDP), both of which are aimed at training
young persons and preparing them for the job market.
The Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) was also created to train new small
business persons in how to manage and market their businesses, while the Belfund
was established to provide low cost starting capital for micro business projects
mainly undertaken by young persons.
Now, the Guyana-based Commonwealth Youth Programme’s Caribbean Centre (CYPCC) is
getting ready to train 100 Saint Lucian “Youth at Risk” and prepare them for the
challenges of entrepreneurial life.
The Prime Minister said the new programme for single mothers “will also provide
new avenues for new opportunities and release the assisted persons from the
double burden of unemployment and single-parenthood.”