‘Celebrating Me’ celebrates our girls
It was New Year's Eve. At a time when most persons were celebrating, Colleen Wint was in her car weeping and sobbing. She had just got her book back from a publisher who kept it for several months before deciding it was "too small" to bother about.
It was yet another disappointment on her journey to realising a simple dream: to see the book she wrote to help young women understand an essential process in their lives published.
She went back to the drawing board. There were more disappointing starts and stops. But last Tuesday, a small group of friends and associates gathered to witness the triumphant launch of her debut novel, Celebrating Me.
Wint was all smiles when she took the stage at the Caribbean Child Development Centre, University of the West Indies, Mona campus. She told her audience that her book was birthed from "a growing realisation of the need for adults and children to better understand their bodies, how they function, and ultimately, responsibility for one's own health".
Celebrating Me is Wint's attempt to start the conversation between parents and their children, especially girls between eight and 13, about the facts of life, particularly menstruation. She uses the story of four 10 to 11-year-old girls to explain the changes that occur in a young woman's body as she matures. But she doesn't stop there.
Wint also uses her book to encourage parents to celebrate this important milestone in their daughters' lives. Her words were echoed by guest speaker, LASCO Top Cop Detective Sergeant Eva Lindo.
"I wish I had a book like that when I was 12," Lindo said, reminiscing on how taboo a topic menstruation was - and still is - in many families. She congratulated Wint on her self-published success, and encouraged parents and guardians to foster trust in their relationships with their children, and make child safety a priority.