Recognising the benefits to the community in sharpening the skills of young people, Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia assisted in bringing together over 300 girls, aged 9 to 17, for a day-long event of empowerment and character building.
Spearheaded by Saint Lucian Diane Felicien of the Do-Nation Foundation – Saint Lucia Chapter, this has been in the making for some months. Ms. Felicien, in planning and organising the 2022 Girls Who Brunch Tour event, was very emotional, sharing that, “I have seen so many girls with so much potential, and I just want to help them. But of course I can’t help them all. So, one girl at a time I always say, and we will see our way. So when Sandals in Saint Lucia stepped up to help us for our first major event, you can imagine how happy I felt.”
From break-out sessions to cat-walk confidence-building initiatives, there was something for everyone. When the former Governor General Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy took to the microphone as guest speaker, the atmosphere was electric. One student, Layla Satioute, after listening to Her Excellency describe her personal journey from girlhood, to being a teacher at 12 years old, and then to retirement, said, “I never knew that someone could be a teacher at 12 years old! I would have been asleep in my bed at 12.”
The former Governor General went on to encourage the girls to overcome any shortcoming they may encounter and just push through to achieve success. Dame Pearlette left the girls with the powerful message that all of their dreams are attainable, and that with hard work, discipline, and prayers they can be achieved.
In the words of a mother, Jacinta Wilson, “It was a safe place where my girl could spend the day with her friends and I did not have to worry about her safety. I did not think twice about letting my daughter participate. And because I knew that Sandals was a sponsor, again, it was a no-brainer for my daughter to participate. I was able to drop her off in the morning, go to work, I work at Sandals, and pick her up after work.”
When asked by media personnel “how did you benefit from attending the Girls Who Brunch Tour”, one young girl replied, “I did not realize that women can do what men do and that they can do it just as well as men. If women set out to achieve a goal it can be accomplished because they too have no limitations as to what they can achieve”.
During the course of the day’s programme, the girls were exposed to musical renditions by local performers, dance pieces and a fashion show. At day’s end, during a question and answer session, Sandals representatives donated school supplies to several participants.