Beneficiaries having fun while learning as a team!
Firstly, we must say once more: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
You would not believe the amount of impact that has been generated, thus far. Various levels of hope has been provided to the girls through your assistance. Since this campaign ended with us successfully hitting our target, thanks to you our donors, we have been able to:
- Feed approximately fifty (50) girls through our feeding programme for a period of two (2) months, thus far. These contributions could not have come at a better time, because exams have started for many transitioning out of school, and will soon start for others aiming to go up another grade. Lack of food and nurishment is a huge concern for us, as we know studying on an empty stomach is counter productive.
- Conduct two (2) training sessions, thus far, on personal and professional branding, and aiding in them receiving valuable information for progression in their paths to success. Areas such as: health and grooming, attitudes and personalities for work, entrepreneurship, developing core values and skills, online presence and social media management, for example, were at the forefront of our training curriculum. We now have girls more confident in the process of finding employment and/or seeking out opportunities of development.
- The STEAM careers showcase and workshop is in the planning stages, and many of the girls interested in anime, and engineering are excited to learn more. Many are being told by parents and guardians that they need to be more realistic, and anime, for example, is not a real job to work towards, because people in Barbados never get those kinds of opportunities. We aim to ensure they understand and believe differently.
- Assist 80 girls; thus far, with being paired to a highly skilled, and trained mentor, who will constantly report back to the organisation as to the progress being made with the girls. Next month we will conclude connecting the girls with mentors. Many of the girls paired has one or more parents who has died and/or not taking responsibility for them, and they genuinely feel like society has failed them. This level of encouragement is important for us to ensure that they know they are safe and our mentors appreciate their effort and openness.
Many of our girls are struggling to find themselves, or understand why them because of their circumstances. One of our mentees felt the need to share with you her journey in a nutshell, and her most resent success through our programme:
"I was touched inappropriately when I was younger by my older cousin. The only reason I am willing to share that is because I only realised it after a development session conducted by I Am A Girl. I never thought I was part of any statistic, and it made me think of all the times I myself downplayed what other girls were going through. Then I realised I was that girl, and am that girl. It was then also I realised that I had a choice, either be silent and let it eat at me, or fight and help other girls come through it knowing they are not alone. I may not have much to offer, but my mentor says differently. She believes in me, which makes me believe in myself. I don't have a mother, but I was not going to allow that to stop me. I am hungry many days at school and hide it out of shame, but I know now the more I study the more food I will be able to get for myself later. I am 16 and applied for a scholarship, and with the help of my mentor, with the application and reference, I was successful. I am so excited, but also scared. I really do not know what I would do without her guidance. All I know is I will not be my past, no matter what has happened."
Our Next Steps:
We are excited to share also that we are in the process of looking for a building to house our sessions and call home to the organisation. We want to take our support for the girls a step further in creating a safe space for them, and with the continual rise of run-aways due to abuse, teen pregnancy from rape, dependancy and incest, and prospitution and sex trafficking due to girls coming out of children's homes and institutions with no healthy environment to turn, we desire to create a transitional home that houses girls, while teaching valuable skills to move on and be productive citizens of Barbados.
We are ready to grow our impact and would love for you to stay in touch! To receive more updates on our work, how your donations thus far, and possibly in the future will continue to benefit our girls, subscribe to our mailing list via www.iamagirlbarbados.com.