Women trained as community mobilisers
Nineteen women from the inner-city communities of Trench Town and Fletcher's Land have graduated from the Women's Advocacy & Leadership Training "WE Group", implemented by the Women's Resource & Outreach Centre in partnership with National Integrity Action.
The graduation ceremony was held last week Wednesday at the Knutsford Court Hotel. The two-month programme focused on improving the socio-economic situation of women and girls by equipping them to advocate for their self-interest.
As part of the programme, the women who were selected were trained as community mobilisers around sexual health, anti-corruption, gender, human rights, and integrity. The activities focused mainly on equipping the women with the tools to function in the Jamaican male-dominated environment.
The programme exposed the women, who were between the ages of 19 to 65, to high-quality training in the following several areas: gender and leadership, basic and participatory methods of research and conflict and money management.
The highly interactive programme utilised a holistic approach to training the women with three energetic and experienced facilitators connected to the Women's Media Watch Jamaica, having backgrounds in gender advocacy and development.
At the beginning of the programme, 25 women were enroled, however by the end only 19 remained and completed the training. They are now certified as community mobilisers for their communities. So far, the women have staged one successful community sensitisation session to educate their community members about the Jamaica Women's Health Survey Report commissioned by UN Women.
The focus of the information presented was on Intimate-partner violence. They have also formed themselves into a community-based group and have developed their 2019 work plan for the work they will undertake in Trench Town.
IMPROVE SERVICE DELIVERY
Additionally, the participants have begun the process of securing funding to underwrite their activities through the Project for Maternal and Neonatal, Infant Health to improve the service delivery of health facilities to women and babies.
Executive Director of WROC, Nikeisha Sewell Lewis commended the women on their achievement and stated, "This marks the end of one stage of your life, and I encourage and implore you to embrace every opportunity for growth and development that comes your way as you begin the next stage of your journey."
A representative from the primary funding agency, National Integrity Action, Dr Patrece Charles, also congratulated and charged the group to continue empowering themselves as women. She said that the road ahead would be a long and difficult one but that they were further ahead than they were at the beginning of their course.
Guest speaker Maxine Wilson, general manager of the Palisadoes Credit Union, encouraged the graduands to let their completion of the training be the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. She reminisced on coming from a very poor background herself in the community of Waterhouse, where poverty and crime were all she was afforded.