GIRLS residing at Elsie Bemand Home for Girls, Melody Home for Girls, and Sophie's Place orphanage, will benefit from a series of character-building workshops throughout this month and into March, and receive necessities such as sanitary napkins and deodorant from a drive that is being held for these items.
The project, titled 'I am Woman. Period.' is being spearheaded by Trish-Ann McTaggart, a special projects coordinator and mother who saw the need to ensure that the girls have a constant supply of these items.
“I know these homes get donations from time to time, however, sanitary napkins are some of those items that people view as private,” McTaggart told All Woman.
“So even if they get donations, it's usually a small amount. People will offer services, people will offer their time, however, personal items are a bit [of an issue] for everyone.”
She emphasised that girls' homes can never have too many sanitary napkins.
“For example, Elsie Bemand houses teenage mothers ranging from age 11 to about 17. So can you imagine 22 girls who are all of childbearing age, the amount that they pass through per month? That is why I saw the need to go out and do this.”
The character-building workshops leading up to the handover will focus on the areas of budgeting, dress, poise and hygiene. The young women will also be treated to a vision board-making session.
“For the workshops that we are going to be having, I have gathered some people who are experts in their field, as well as some social media influencers — because at the end of the day we are dealing with young women,” McTaggart said.
“These are people who they have seen and have admired over the years.”
The items will be handed over to the homes on March 30. In recognition of International Womens' Day on March 8, and to garner support for the drive, McTaggart and her team are also hosting a reading of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues on March 5 at Phoenix Theatre in New Kingston.
While this time around the drive will benefit only these three homes, McTaggart hopes that the project will benefit more girls in the future.
“I started by calling support agencies such as the Child Development Agency; however, in the end I did my own research, called the homes, and asked them questions. Based on the answers received I chose the ones with the greatest needs. I intend to focus on these three homes yes, especially for the workshops; however, my vision has now grown to include as many girls' homes as possible,” she said.
— Candiece Knight