The Achievement Learning Centre in association with ‘My Child and I,’ a Barbados based charity, will be hosting two parents workshop aimed at empowering parents to cope with the challenges of Hurricane Maria.

The Achievement Learning Centre is a school which focuses on meeting the needs of children with special needs.

The centre said it is happy to work with My Child and I, which focusses on promoting the welfare of families with a specific emphasis on facilitating the healthy development of children across the Caribbean region.

The Charity provides parents with support through education to navigate effectively the challenges of parenting and to better raise their children to become productive members of society.

Currently, the Charity’s projects include: a 15 minute weekly radio programmer, aired in Barbados, on the Charity’s website and on Sound Cloud; a weekly television programmer aired in 11 countries across the Caribbean which was the first My Child and I project; Video material from the programs are available on the Charity’s website; Free parenting workshops hosted in different countries and coordinated in partnership with the relevant government or private agencies and an online resource center providing parenting education via printed articles, short videos and audio programs.

According to the Director of Achievement Learning Center, Beverly Leblanc, when a disaster or traumatic event occurs, such as a natural disaster or violent act, whether accidental or intentional, it can be stressful for people of all ages. Children tend to react to disaster and traumatic events based on their past experiences and what they know of the current situation.

“The opportunity to hold this workshop with ‘My Child and I’ is timely as we seek to empower parents to cope with the challenges of parenting amidst crisis,” she said.

While the workshop is open to everyone, there will be a special focus on parenting children with special needs.

Parenting children with special needs poses its own sets of challenges and Hurricane Maria brought with it additional challenges.

“Hurricane Maria has changed the lives of every family, some of them now have to live in new environments, and some even in the same home the home environment is not the same. These situations place children who have serious emotional and behavioral problems are at greater risk for severe stress and because they will require extra support the parents have to equip to help them cope,” Leblanc said.

The workshops will be held in two venues, the Soufriere CUC on Friday 26 January from 4:00 pm- 6:00 pm and the main workshop on Saturday, January 12 at the Achievement Learning Centre, 3 Elliot Avenue, Pottersville from 9:30-4:00.

The workshops are free and we are inviting as many parents to attend.

“We have often heard that we have not yet began to feel the impact of the Hurricane Impact; furthermore it is difficult to predict how some children will respond to disasters and traumatic events; hence it is essential that we all work together to be equipped with knowledge and skills as well share information about how our children are coping after a traumatic event,” Leblanc stated.

Interested parents are asked to register by calling Beverly Leblanc at 613-1959 or at achieve074@gmail.com