This project will renovate a building in Barbados, that will be used in cases where emergency intervention and housing is needed for girls, who may have run away from home or are homeless on a transitional or hidden basis. These instances may be due to girls trying to escape their current realities because of abuse, neglect or violence, needing to be rescued from their current realities, or due to sudden life shifts; for example, being unexpectedly put out of their home, with no where to go.
Due to economic instability in Barbados there are steady forms of abandonment among families towards youth, especially girls aged 13-19. According to UNICEF, 70% of children are living in poverty in Barbados vs. 1 in 3 in the region. This level of poverty means girls are expected to provide at home much younger, which exposes them to sexual exploitation, neglect and in some instances being put out of their home. This forces them to run-away or couch-surf, hence homeless and in survival mode.
1. Assist in reducing the number of girls in Barbados exposed to sexual abuse because of poverty; 2. Provide girls with security through our feeding programme, and reduce their worry about finances; 3. Ensuring that girls stay in school and gain an educational foundation; 4. Provide support to girls through mentorship, mental health counselling and wellness support and guidance for future planning; and, 5. Provision of emergency housing to aid with their transition to a more permanent solution.
These girls most often feel alone in their circumstances, and unsure of where to get help. We aim to impact their lives and empower them in overcoming their current situations, while encouraging them in becoming leaders in their community for others. Integrated in our programme is the opportunity to see past their circumstances, and helping others as they have been helped. It will also impact upon their mental health, and combat issues such as self harm, depression and suicidal thoughts.