Governor General His Excellency the Most Hon. Cornelius A. Smith and Spouse of the Prime Minister and Founder of the Women and Girls Mentoring Coalition, Mrs. Patricia Minnis led in the celebration of International Day of the Girl Child and launch of the Women and Girls Mentoring Coalition (WGMC) at Government House, Wednesday, October 9, 2019. The Governor General encouraged girls across the nation to get their education. He said, “‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.’
“What that means is that the future of our country lies in the hands of our young people, and especially in the hands of our young women.” The Governor General challenged girls to prepare themselves vocationally and socially to accept that awesome responsibility and to accept it with confidence. Mrs. Minnis explained that the WGMC launch is the charting of a course that, through partnership, will lead to increased empowerment of women and girls. She said the coalition was created with the intent to generate situations that will allow women to become further productive, resilient citizens; capable of caring for themselves and meeting the needs of their families. “Today, many women are challenged with meeting the basic needs of adequate housing and the provision of meals for their families.
Further, the work of such a partnership will also be geared toward teaching and motivating young girls in the areas of self-esteem and chastity with a resultant decrease in teenage pregnancies.” Mrs. Minnis said, “Partnership will allow for a significant number of women and girls to be reached. More importantly, fostering self-value, morals and hope in the young girl child can positively impact their growth and development while instilling a vision to succeed.” She noted that having a vision to succeed would induce the desire and determination in girls to complete their education thereby readying themselves for the work force.
Mrs. Minnis explained that the initial work that birthed the Coalition commenced on October 20, 2018 when she hosted a Fact Finding Conclave for 26 leaders and mentors of girl organizations in The Bahamas. The objective was to exchange ideas, offer encouragement and review best practices pertinent to leadership and mentoring. She stated that the discussions highlighted several issues that were common for all leaders and mentors in attendance. “It became apparent that issues relative to funding, adequate facilities to host meetings, food and volunteers were common challenges faced by leaders and mentors of girl organizations.”
Mrs. Minnis said, “As a result, leaders and mentors in the room made a unanimous decision to join together under an ‘umbrella’ organization with the mind-set that ‘many hands make work light’. In my view, challenges may exist but success can be easily achieved with large numbers. Hence the launch of this coalition today. ”The launch at Government House was attended by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Lanisha Rolle, the mentors, and female students from several schools. On Friday, October 11, a group of girls who were victims of Hurricane Dorian and a few of their caregivers are being treated to a Fun Day at SuperClubs Breezes. That is the resort’s contribution to the International Day of the Girl Child.
More images from the launch below: