Joy and excitement was evident on the faces of graduates of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation held at the Masiphumelele Senior Club in Philippi on Tuesday. About 80 students, mostly from the Klipfontein area, which includes Lower Crossroads, Phlippi, Crossroads and Mitchells Plain graduated from the teen parenting programme, sponsored by the foundation.The programme assists teenage parents and caregivers with parenting skills, which enable them to be effective, responsible, nurturing mothers and fathers. The target group was the between ages 15 and 24 years old. The programme takes place over six weeks. Participants attend 20 weekly group sessions, from Monday to FridayOne of the graduates, Thandazile Masiba (21), a mother of a four-year-old toddler, said the programme was informative. “This programme is about life after birth. They taught us about the challenges we are facing as young parents and how to resolve them. As parents, we need to understand their emotions and be patient,” said Masiba.Nonzwakazi Mvemi also described the event as being helpful to parents like herself. “This programme corrects behaviour. Our children don’t care. They leave their children with us and go out to socialise(most of the time),” said Mvemi.She wished the kids can keep and implement what they’ve been taught in the programme. Silindokuhle Mphutha-Vellem, programme facilitator, said they run the program in schools and in the community for the teenagers that may have been forced to drop out of school due to teenage pregnancies. Among other things they are taught is the balance between being a teenager and a parent, to understand their child’s behaviour, emotions, feelings, listening skills, compassion, their relationship and the positive aspects of mutual respect and moral discipline. Vellem stated that the programme was designed mainly for girls but they also included young men. “Boys, when they impregnated their partners, tend to disassociate afterwards, thus neglecting the responsibilities of being a father to the child,” she said. They are encouraged men to look after their children.