Oct 6, 2020

Steady Progress Despite The Impact of COVID-19

Thank you so much for seeing us through these challenging and uncertain times.
With the prolonged nature of the pandemic there has definitely been a shift in our operations.  We have had to:
  1. Leave our usual working space, and are hoping to finalise a new normal very soon;
  2. Expand our team, with the growing needs of our beneficiaries, so we're working to develop Team Dynamics remotely, at the moment; and,
  3. Shift our programming primarily online, until we finalise a new space with new rules, while still maintaining mental health and in-kind support, for those most vulnerable.
We are definitely missing how things were done before, but creating a new normal has been exciting, while also challenging, as the needs of girls shift daily.
Good News Thought!!!
This particular element of our programming is doing pretty well, and at the same time bitter sweet, from the perspective that even more girls now than ever are in dire need, whether it be food, clothing, supplies, hygience products, grants for education, and the list goes on.
More and more parents and guardians within their households have lost jobs or had reduced hours, and the needs keep rising, so as to maintain healthy, active and able young leaders.
Your contributions have helped to support those needs we offer to our girls, and despite any changes made regarding COVID-19 there have been improvements in how we function to get to our girls.
How You Can Help?
Great question.  Share about our work.  Tell a friend or family member.  And, only if you can, feel free to contribute again.
Until next time, we will be just over here on this little island, keeping our energy high and support impactful.
Take care and have a great week remaining.

Links:

Jun 8, 2020

It's A Troubling Time Indeed

COVID-19 has thrown our programming, support and methorship of our girls in to a tail spin. With so many plans cancelled and the isolation that this pandemic brings, we have noticed an upsurge in:

  • Domestic Violence and Neglect
  • Loneliness and Depression
  • Sexual and Physical Abuse
  • Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts

We have had to make many adjustments over the past few months, to ensure our girls know we are still here for them by:

  1. Moving to 100% digital programming, by utilising WhatsApp groups, Webinar Sessions for Group and Individual Counselling and Mentorship, and Digital Sister Talks;
  2. Food supplies via our partners, so they get deliveries directly to their doors;
  3. Offering them the opportunity to express their feelings on everything happening via test, voicenote or video, that they can advacate for more support; and,
  4. Supply of borrowed devices and facilitation of educational tutoring, so our girls aren't left behind academically.

 

Message from one of our girls on how she's been coping during times of COVID-19:

"Just late last year Corona surfaced in China and in a matter of seconds it spread like wildfire. This is what I find most scary about the virus.

The safety of my family keeps plaguing my mind and the many ways in which this could end, if it ever does.  I've felt the impact of Corona's presence more in the disruption of my academics and similar to most in the limited amount of movement afforded to me.

On nights when it is eerily quiet I wonder if I would feel any different than how I do now if I were to live alone. The thing is, isolation really gives room for self reflection but isolation with at least six other personalities present, feels like it breeds dysfunction more than anything.

Overall, I'm really just trying to keep my composure because it feels like even though Corona is the biggest threat here, she has really opened alot of doors, behind which it seems like relationships may be tested, resolves may be broken and just so much devastation is ensue. I just hope and pray things don't get anymore out of hand than they already have."

Challenges with some of our processes now is that:

  1. There are so many girls we serve that do not have electricity, let alone the internet or a device, in order to connect with us in some way;
  2. Due to the increase in all the social ills they are facing, and the fact we can not physically be present or engage as we are used to, we are forced to just collect as much stories as possible, that we can investigate, until it's time to apply solutions;
  3. In Barbados charities doing the very intrigral work that we are, aren't seen as essential services, which is something we are advocating to change, so when we hear of stories at odd hours in the night, we can't help directly, which is tough.

We have been able to reach, to date, approximately 60% of our beneficiaries, and of course will continue to work towards 100% engagement, by planning new ways to exist, while still keeping our team and girls safe; however, it will not be easy.

We look forward to your continued support, and thank you for remaining closely connected to our work, as we strive for positive impact, regardless of these challenges.

We can't wait to fully get back to our girls!!!

Links:

Feb 10, 2020

New Decade, Same Challenges!

Firstly we want to take a moment to pause and reflect on how your contributions have impacted upon our success over the past few years (previous decade).

Up Until Now Our Major Achievements Include:

  1. In 2015 us being recommended and recognised in London, ENgland as a With And For Girls Awardee;
  2. In 2016 being recognised as a inaugural Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Awardee – Granted by POTUS 44, President Barack Obama;

  3. In 2017 becoming a graduate and partner on the GlobalGiving Foundation Platform, where we would have met you;

  4.  In 2017 becoming an Official Affiliate of the National Organisation of Women (NOW);

  5.  In 2018 having secured Two (2) Major International Funding Partners, that adds to our work;

  6.  In 2019 becoming a Fiscal Sponsor Partner for Caribbean Girls Collective, where we are leading the charge in girls' relations regionally; and,

  7.  In 2019 becoming the Commonwealth Point of Light Awardee – Granted by Her Majesty The Queen via The British High Commission.

All of the above has aiding in igniting our aims to:

  1. Develop the leadership abilities of youth within Barbados and cross regionally, in an effort to combat the route of all issues girls face;
  2. Spark a desire to contribute more towards community development, in ensuring that holistic impact is generated through our work;
  3. Generate innovative ideas that tackle many of the societal issues which exist;
  4. Showcase our strengths, knowledge and abilities, in utilizing entrepreneurship or community projects, as a means for driving positive change; and,
  5. Continue to cultivate the Ambassador for Change mentality that integrates our philosophy 'Reach One, Teach One', whereby our partners play a key role in girls development.

Your financial contributions have assisted us in 2019 to sucessfully complete our:

  1. 5th Annual Generation Y Annual Easter Retreat;
  2. 3rd Annual Generation Y Summer Initiative;
  3. Monthly Girl’s Club Sessions;
  4. Mutiple Secondary and Primary School Programmes;
  5. Adopt-A-Girl Programme (Food, Shoes, Books);
  6. 50 More Regional Leadership Project;
  7. International Travel Opportunities for Girls within our programme; and,
  8. Annual Summer Internship Programmes.

In 2020 and beyond, with your on-going support, we intend to:

  1. Transition to a more permanent space for the organisation, whereby more girls can be served with more consistency;
  2. Increase our Advocacy, Awareness & NGO Brand Recognition, so that more resources may be directed towards the girls needs;
  3. Increase our Financial Sustainability (with Strategic Fundraising and a continuation of building our Digital Infrastructure for Operational Viability);
  4. Grow The Team (Employees, Volunteers, Contractors, Support) to ensure that the work does not slow down; and,
  5. Increase the Reach and Consistency of Capacity Building Programmes:
  • Leadership Development Programme
  • Increased Girl’s Club Meetings
  • Food Security and Educational Support

How Can You Continue to Help?

  1. Share this report and your reasons for supporting our work with girls, with as many of your friends, family and networks.  Share our vision for the futrue and the impact that small contributions can make, while encouraging them to learn more and do more; and/or,
  2. Become a recurring donor, if you have not done so already, to keep this work alive, so that more solutions can be implemented for the benefit of girls development.

Until next time, we wish to say thank you again for all you have done, and look forward to staying connected, as we demonstrate how much your help means to our girls' success.

Links:

 
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