We live in a world that is filled with challenges. As human beings we all seek some form of direction or assistance out of the situations that we are faced with but what does it really mean to be a girl in Barbadian society to date? Are girls getting the guidance they truly need? For when one is grounded with discipline and knows who they are destined to be in life then that person becomes an individual that is equipped to be all they can be. This is the basis behind the mission I AM A GIRL BARBADOS seeks to fulfill.
We fail as a society when, youth lash out, speak out of line, speak period or act up; we automatically label and categorize them as rude or a menace. Why is that? Instead, should it not be the duty of adults to understand and really listen to what is being illustrated behind all the shouting and screaming. You would think so but in some respects adults can only truly portray what they were taught and be as loving as the love they were once given. It’s funny because besides all that Barbados is painted daily as a “Christian” society; whatever that means.
At one of our first outreach efforts in Bridgetown on Saturday the 24th day of January 2015, we were faced with various forms of feedback, mostly positive, whereby some members were greeted with comments by the public that reflected that the objectives the organization is working towards are attainable and wise while others felt that it was futile. Some men and women alike made remarks such as: What is the point, the girls in Barbados lost? Or Why are you all even bothering; what about boys? Those that were in agreement with our vision and mission, concurred that the young girls in our society need help and are not a lost cause; however, those that saw it futile were basing their comments on the decadence they were seeing among young girls within their respective communities. It is these negatives that continue to motivate our drive to transform the culture within Barbadian girls.
As a society, we fail our girls. We neglect to address their concerns. Even in how we speak to our boys we reference girls as a negative, such as; Why you acting like such a girl? Aren’t you a man, stop acting like a girl? Why you acting so weak; you’re a girl or what? All these references both genders are guilty of making. It makes you wonder, why do females see themselves as weak and why do males feel the need to equate weak with the feminine gender?
Ultimately, girls do not need validation; they just need someone to truly hear them and take the time to understand what is happening. Most of what is seen is a cry for help. This organization seeks to make a severe impact in Barbadian society by making it known that we are not all talk but action; for we see what is happening in the homes, schools and communities among our young girls and how these various environments pose myriad risks for these young ladies and how it can impact their outlook in life. We aim to challenge the minds of our girls so that they desire on their own terms what being a productive citizen for today and tomorrow truly means.
Youth are not only our future, but our present also, and as a Community we intend to ensure that our girls are armed with the necessary skills that they need to transition in to the future leaders of our region. Instead of criticism; how about correction? Every young girl is not “fresh” or even “loose”, as society likes to throw around those stereotypes but every girl wants to be loved, accepted and supported in whatever their heart desires. When you expect the worst and you deem them as misfits you are pushing them away and they will continue on a cycle of “well if they see me that way, that’s what I will give them”. Why would they do the right thing when they are only seen as a statistic for destruction? Understand that sometimes rebellion is the only answer to be seen and heard in their eyes. Stop ostracizing and start seeing the world from their view. Empowerment is our focus because we are girls and we are enough.
Prism Diaries, I AM A GIRL BARBADOS