Reggae Sumfest 2018

Tessane Chin bonds with girls at Women's Centre

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By: Dave Lindo
Photography By: Milton Raynor


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Prolific singer, Tessane Chin, took time out to share a moment with the girls from the Kingston branch of the Women's Centre Of Jamaica Foundation, on Thursday, May 15, 2008.

The occasion was a presentation by the Growing and Giving organisation which handed out gifts to the girls at the centre.

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The gifts came courtesy of Confectionary Snacks, Super Plus, VP Records, Headline Entertainment and the St. Andrew Rotary Club.

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The Women's Centre is a Government run institution which caters for adolescent girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy.

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The programme started in 1978 and provides a means for the girls 17 years and under, to continue their education.

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There are 7 centres of its kind in Jamaica. The others centres are located in Port Antonio, Monetgo Bay, St. Ann's Bay, Mandeville, Spanish Town and Savanna-la-mar.

They provide academic instruction, counselling, skills training and family planning counselling.

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The end process is that the young mothers are reinstated into the regular school system after childbirth.

Tessane Chin who was accompanied by her mother, Christine Chin, delighted the audience with her new track, "When I'm With You". She took time out to talk to the girls who she was visiting for the second time. "When I look before me I see beautiful women," she said. "The God I serve knows no boundaries, what he does for one he will do for all, just believe and trust in him. Don't give up, I respect you for your courage and your will to succeed."

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Tessanne then dedicated her song "Messenger" to the girls and some sang along with her. Crystal, a student of the school, inturn lauded Tessanne with a treat, (after being prompted by Tessanne to sing), blew her away as she sang one of her songs, "Hideaway". Crystal had the audience in awe with her beautiful voice and had Tessnanne beaming with pride.

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Twelve of the girls were given special gifts for outstanding academic performances.

The gifts for the girls ranged from, snacks courtesy of Confectionary Snacks, CD's from VP Records and Headline Entertainment, a prom, play pen, baby carrier, and many other items.

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Centre Manager, Mrs. E Rainford- Clarke, speaking to YardFlex disclosed that there were presently 200 registered students at the Kingston Centre. Speaking about her experience at the institution, Mrs. Rainford Clarke said, "It is challenging because we are getting girls from different communities most of the time from the Inner Cities and from different schools. We have to try and understand them and to cater to their needs as best as possible." Mrs. Rainford Clarke has been working at the institution for the past 12 years.

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Maria Hitchins is the founder of the Growing and Giving Organisation. "I started the foundation in January of this year. It came about after the birth of my daughter, Milan Symphony Russell, where I became more aware of the problem of teenage pregnancy," she said. We basically go around and collect donations, which are various items that can help them during and after their pregnancy.

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Anyone interesting in contributing to the Growing and Giving Foundation can email Maria at mariahitchins@gmail.com.

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