International Women’s Month Ends With NCF Fundraiser

By Marvlin Anthony

INTERNATIONAL Women’s Month has been quite wonderful thus far, and as it ends, women everywhere are being reminded of the incredible impact they’ve created.

Throughout the month of March, local organizations have gone to extraordinary lengths to celebrate women.

The National Community Foundation (NCF) played its part with a fundraiser that has been described as a lifechanging event. Held last Saturday at the Financial Administrative Centre, this event dubbed ‘Count Her In’ was jam-packed with action from start to finish.

“Today’s gathering is not just about coming together, it is about recognizing and harnessing the profound impact of personal and professional development for all women. It is about understanding that when women are empowered societies flourish,” Executive Director Vanya Reid-Hinkson stated.

“Personal development empowers us to embrace our strengths, navigate challenges and unlock our full potential. Professional development on the other hand equips us with the tools and skills to thrive in our careers, break barriers and advocate for diversity and inclusion. When women succeed professionally they pave the way for others creating a ripple effect of progress and prosperity,” Reid-Hinkson said.

The event featured a number of speakers including attorney Kit-Juelle Frank-Amoroso, Dr. Thecla Fitz-Lewis, nurse Linda “Chocolate” Berthier, entrepreneur Melika Elibox, NYC President Yaniqueca Jean Bart and keynote speaker (and powerhouse) Kimberly Charlery-Pierre.

Most notably (and perhaps what attendees appreciated even more) was the fact that they were all transparent. Their stories were inspiring and uplifting, filled with humour, and above all, resonated deeply with the women.

The guest speakers covered a number of topics including relationships and friendships, as well the importance of education, self-care, becoming the best version of one’s self, making smart financial decisions, taking bold risks, etc.

“As women we need to maintain our resilience. Sometimes you need to change direction if you want to be successful. You always have to remember to be there for others but never leave yourself behind. The greatest love (a woman can give herself) is learning to love (herself). When I learned to love (myself) I learned what true love (is),” Dr. Lewis informed the audience, adding that “I knew what I wanted, what I deserved and I knew I should not accept anything that came my way.”

She also told them that they should not judge other women and that “I used to be judgmental before (but) when I recognized the trajectory of my story I became less judgmental and more supporting.”

Dr Lewis (who is the co-manager of Lewis Industries) easily won the audience over with her powerful message and is undoubtedly a star in her own right.
They all are.

Linda Chocolate Berthier reminded the women that they should not be afraid to be themselves.

“Don’t be shy to give your opinion. Validate yourself daily, stay connected to your higher power and just keep counting (yourself in),” she said.

Another tip, she stated, is “to learn from people’s mistakes.”

“Don’t give up on yourself and don’t hesitate to encourage another woman,” Berthier added.

With powerful messages like this, she was certainly well-received.

And of course, what’s a Women’s Month event without some soul stirring entertainment?

The latter was delivered by Courtney ‘Nireti’ James and Christa Bailey who brought the house down with powerful anthems like ‘Superwoman’, ‘Titanium’ and ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ – a timeless hit that is perfect for any Women’s Month event.

The NCF went above and beyond to ensure that the ‘Count Her In’ fundraiser was a success. They ensured that attendees got their money’s worth and would leave with impactful messages that they’d remember for a long time. It was a true celebration of women from all walks of life.

“There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish,” the NCF reminded attendees.


The NCF has accomplished quite a bit since it started in 2002. NCF, the brainchild of the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) “stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity for vulnerable students, individuals with disabilities, the homeless, youth at risk, older persons and many others in need within our society,” Reid-Hinkson stated.

“I am proud to report that the NCF is currently financially supporting two hundred and two students for the 2023-2024 academic year. Over the past five years we have provided full scholarships to a total of eight hundred and fifty-four students amounting to a cost of over one million, five hundred dollars. Through the NCF’s full scholarship these amazing students age 12 to 18 from various secondary schools are able to cover all educational financial needs for a five-year period,” she added.

According to Reid-Hinkson, “as of 2023 we have assisted over two thousand, four hundred individuals, forty-one groups and disbursed seven hundred and fifty-eight thousand, three hundred and thirty-two dollars in support of these critical initiatives. None of this would be possible without the generous support and donations we receive from the corporate sector, organizations, and individuals, as well as through our dedicated fund-raising activities such as this. At the center of what we do lies an incredible all female team whose dedication, passion and tireless efforts drive our mission forward. For these women the work that we do is not just a job it is a calling. It is a passion and a commitment to making a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve.”

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