Founder and Executive Director of HerFlow Foundation, Shelly-Ann Weeks, believes that for Jamaica to realise its goals, the country must “invest in girls”.
“Empowered girls are confident and capable. They will be integral to any progress that Jamaica intends to achieve. As a country, there is much that we can gain by ensuring that every Jamaican girl has the resources to be their best,” said Weeks.
She was engaging girls at the Invest in Girls Summit held on May 1.
“Informative” “funny” and “eye-opening” were just a few of the words used by students of Excelsior High School to describe the presentation conducted by Weeks at the event where she walked a captive audience of over 600 girls through important details they need to know in order to manage their periods.
Also speaking at the event were Dr. Janice Johnson-Dias and Lisa Maxwell, president and director of GrassROOTS Community Foundation who partnered with HerFlow to create the Invest in Girls Summit.
Johnson-Dias shared her experience from her roots in Retreat, St. Mary, to her rise as an accomplished educator, author and mother of the #1000BlackGirlBooks Founder, Marley Dias.
She said, the “GrassROOTS Community Foundation has partnered with HerFlow to execute the Summit because the Invest In Girl Summit exemplifies what it looks like to make a meaningful contribution to girls’ leadership, well-being and development. Girls can be in community with each other in a stigma-free and loving space.”
“Furthermore, at the summit, girls can get scientifically accurate and affirming information. It’s our pleasure at GrassROOTS to collaborate, partner and amplify the work HerFlow does because it makes a fundamental difference in the lives of girls, their families, their communities and in Jamaica,” she added.
“Girls are the glue of our community and the more we invest in them, the healthier our communities will become. Girls today balance a silent cost to their energy, and to their pockets. It is time we lighten this toll by speaking openly about the natural, healthy and life bearing process of periods and invest resources in our girls,” noted Johnson-Dias.
On the other hand, Maxwell reminded the girls that “It’s not about where you started, it’s about how you make the best of your opportunities and apply yourself that will help you achieve greatness.”
She also shared some of her experiences growing up in Jamaica before moving to the United States (US) as she is currently a vice president of marketing at Mastercard.
In addition to the presentations, book donations, menstrual products, and period pouches were made to supply the girls in attendance. This is the third staging of the Invest In Girls Summit in which over 1500 girls have benefited. The next Summit is scheduled to take place in 2024.
Connect with HerFlow Foundation at their website, embraceherflow.com.
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