Care Rainbow project launched at Anse Etoile school | 08 August 2020
Care Rainbow project was launched at Anse Etoile school in a small ceremony as part of the joint Care/Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development collaboration for school-based substance use prevention for children.
The Rainbow project which is part of Care’s early intervention strategy to strengthen prevention, targets children in primary schools identified showing early signs of risky behaviour. It is a two-year project during which each child enrolled is accompanied through a well outlined behaviour intervention and support plan. The plan is drawn up jointly by Care and the school with important input from teachers, parents, the school counsellor and social worker. It is based on the specific risk factors the child faces and outlines the pathway from where the child is from entry point to exit.
The project, which overall objective is to increase children’s resilience towards negative influences and negative choices, including substance use, was scheduled to be launched since the beginning of the first term. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the launch had to be deferred. It has since been re-packaged to fit in within the new norms in place for schools and having completed all the necessary ground work, it is now ready to roll.
The Anse Etoile school’s head teacher, Jacqueline Celestine, said her school welcomed the project as “it provides for a great opportunity and additional support to better assist the selected group of students to improve on their academic studies and behaviour”.
Parents’ crucial role in making the project work for their children was very much emphasised during the launch ceremony. Sarah Rene, chairperson of Care, told the parents who were present that “as our children’s keeper, we have a spiritual duty to ensure we do our best always in loving, guiding and protecting them”. Borrowing from the MC, Aline Berlouis’ words from Kimberly Gills’ book ‘All bad behaviour is really a request for love, attention or validation’, Mrs Rene called on parents and teachers to respond to children’s cry for help with love and attention.
In his remarks to launch the project in Anse Etoile school, Cyril Pillay, the director general for early childhood and primary schools, also highlighted the importance of parents’ engagement with the school and Care in the process of this two-year project.
He described the Rainbow project as well-structured and one that seeks to develop and nurture children’s empathy in the process of resilience building.
He had an important shout out to teachers: “Do what we do as teachers with a lot of love and empathy”.
Against the backdrop of the Rainbow project’s motto of ‘A ray of hope’, Diana and Enzo, two pupils, ended their poem with the following words “Hope is in this beautiful rainbow”.
Text and photos contributed by Care