Charity for girls launched

On a mission to help at-risk youth

A new charity has been launched to provide guidance and support to assist at-risk girls in their transition to adulthood.

Specifically, I Am A Girl Barbados, which received its official send off at a Press conference today at the Colonnade Mall, Bridgetown is on a mission to ensure young girls are given the opportunity to be empowered to create positive change within themselves, their families and, by extension, their communities.

The charity also envisions a Barbadian community where girls of every background have equal access to education, employment, health care, safety and the chance to be positioned as future leaders.

Trustee Shelly Ross said the charity aims to contribute to the continued development of communities across Barbados.

”There are a lot of girls in Barbados [who] are going through serious situations and I have met a number of these girls who are depending on me to help them. And therefore, after a discussion with other passionate persons, we decided to give a voice to these girls. I Am A Girl Barbados wants to do that for these girls. I know girls in Barbados who were raped at the age of nine for two years by stepfathers . . . these are issues that these girls are facing; they are serious and they are real,” a passionate Ross declared.

The charity would stage its first official public event on October 11, which coincides with the observance of International Day Of The Girl Child.

During the activity, scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., unidentified young women would highlight the struggles and their dreams for the future. Information about other organizations representing women will also be shared during interactive sessions.

Alian Ollivierre, another trustee, indicated that every precaution would be taken to protect the identity of the girls.

”They will be blocked out from the public and no one will see them go on stage or see them come off stage. In fact, you may be seeing them walking around and not know that that particular young lady’s story is what you just heard,” Ollivierre said.

The trustees said that sometime in the future they hoped to extend the programme to boys as well.

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