Local charity I AM A GIRL BARBADOS is one of just 20 organisations from around the world to receive an inaugural With and For Girls Award.
The With and For Girls Awards is a global initiative to identify and support strong local organisations working with and for girls.
The charity – based in Barbados – is recognised for its work with at-risk girls who are dealing with a wide range of issues from those as severe as rape by a family member, to low self-esteem relating to their gender or body image.
I AM A GIRL BARBADOS received the Award at a London ceremony on Monday 16 November 2015, where representatives from the winning organisations attended along with people from a range of foundations, multilateral agencies, INGOs and prominent influencers within the sector.
Girls, similar to those in Barbados, face challenges in the form of street harassment, rape, relationship abuse, body image issues, discrimination by peers and adults, and workplace gender-based biases.
I AM A GIRL BARBADOS addresses the mental health repercussions of these challenges, filling a much needed service gap in the country.
The organisation provides non-traditional skills building, motivational seminars, economic awareness workshops, dance and creative arts workshops, improvisation and acting classes, project management and innovative entrepreneurship classes.
The organisation’s peer-to-peer mantra ‘Reach One, Teach One’ encourages girls turning 18 to become mentors to other young girls who may have experienced similar gender-based discrimination and issues.
Muna Wehbe, CEO of Stars Foundation – “Despite the critical role that women and girls play in sustainable development, the World Bank estimates that less than two cents of every dollar spent on international aid is directed towards adolescent girls. The With and For Girls Award provides flexible funding to grassroots girl-focused NGOs, empowering them to invest their funds where they need them most. We want to shine a spotlight on these outstanding local organisations and encourage more funders to support girls in their role as vital agents of change within our sector."
As part of the award package, I AM A GIRL BARBADOS will receive US$15,000 of flexible funding and capacity building support.