Family code for Guyana launched
Stabroek News
May 4, 2007

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The National Commission for the Family (NCF) yesterday launched its Family Code for Guyana.

The code, which has been years in the making, was redone several times after several meetings and a public consultation and the end product was sent to Parliament for approval.

The launching comes just prior to Mother's Day to be celebrated on May 13 and International Day of Families on May 15, which will be observed under the theme 'Keeping the family together in a changing world'. Because of these special days, the commission is urging that the entire month be designated the Month of Families during which every family in Guyana must commit itself to reflecting on the status of its own family life and on issues affecting the family unit.

Members of the public are invited to the National Cultural Centre on May 15 for an inter-faith service to mark the International Day of Families. The service starts at 3:30 pm.

In a statement to officially launch the code, Chief Probation Officer in the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security Patricia Grey said it was expected that the code would underpin the quality of family life in its widest sense and that it would encourage and support every effort to build families that are stable and enduring.

"We launch our Family Code which we hope would serve as an instrument of transforming our theme into reality of family life today," she said. "This code is a guide by which families can find meaning in family life and each member finds in the family personal fulfillment and satisfying relationships."

Grey added that the code also acknowledges that each and every family is important to our nation, the family being the cornerstone and foundation of human society. She noted that crime, violence, substance abuse, communicable diseases including HIV and AIDS and poverty are now stripping many families of their dignity of stability.

"When a family unit has been established by the coming together of a man and woman…it is necessary that they work together on stability and endurance for the sake of their children and the total well-being of society. Most parents must be seen as role models for their children and children in the communities," Grey said.

She said the launching of the code is a good start and called on all those in the private and public sector to support and encourage family life in all its dimensions, with the code serving as an instrument for promotion of quality family life, which will further enhance the functioning of society.

NCF Chairman Frederick Cox said the code was just something to guide families as to how to see themselves and how to function.

Before the code was put on paper, Cox said, the situation both here and in the wider Caribbean was examined. Cox stressed that the commission wants to get more men involved since they have a very important role to play in the stability of the family.

The Family Code, which can be uplifted at the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, Water and Cornhill streets, lists the Principles/Social Standards that a code for families can be based on, the objectives of the code and a short piece on the Guyanese family