Wed | Aug 16, 2017

‘Celebrating Me’ celebrates our girls

Published:Sunday | May 17, 2015 | 5:00 AMRuth Howard, Gleaner Writer
From left: Angella Hunt, Marketing Manager a for ALWAYS (Consumer Brands Limited) Author, Colleen Wint and Guest Speaker Detective Sergeant Ava Lindo pause in their discussion to smile for the camera. ALWAYS distributed by Consumer Brands Limited was the Title Sponsor for the launch of the 'coming of age story for girls'.
From left: Author, Colleen Wint and Valerie G. Francis, Acquisitions Librarian from the National Library of Jamaica engage in a lively discussion after the donation of a copy of Celebrating Me to the National Library.
From left: Karen Barton proudly accepts a copy of Celebrating Me on behalf of the Jamaica Library Service from Author, Colleen Wint during the launch of the 'coming of age story for girls'.
Debut Author, Colleen Wint urges improved reproductive health communication; between young girls and parents during her presentation at the launch of her novel Celebrating Me at the Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC) held t the Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC), UWI Mona Campus on Tuesday, May 12, to coincide with Child's Month.
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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.

ruth.howard@gleanerjm.com