Women helping others achieve

Sunday, February 07, 2016

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THE Sandals and Bob Marley foundations have officially launched their WHOA (Women Helping Others Achieve) initiative to bring about awareness to the issues Caribbean women face and spark positive change.


Speaking at the launch, Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International and President of the Sandals Foundation, charged men to step up to the plate.


"I’ll stand on this platform and say we Caribbean men need to do better. We put women in situations and then walk away like we weren’t a participant in the activity," he said.


He commended the efforts of Cedella Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Foundation and WHOA ambassador, for being part of the partnership that will change the realities of many Caribbean women.


"You’re the action woman, the epitome of change. It goes beyond linkages and giving someone a job, but it’s the individual that never gets the opportunity to come through the door [who] we’re finding with this programme. So, for us at Sandals, it is an amazing honour to be aligned with this initiative," he said.


Heidi Clarke, director of programmes at Sandals Foundation, said investing in women and girls has far-reaching impact as it strengthens whole families and in turn whole communities. She said the WHOA programme focuses on educating teenage girls; the provision of health equipment, counselling and mentorship for abused women; skills training; funding for women in sports; and the development of women in agriculture with a linkage to the tourism sector.


Marley has recorded a special version of her father’s song, Could you be Loved, and by downloading it from
crowdwise.com/cedellamarley, 100 per cent of your donation will go directly to WHOA.


WHOA is expected to impact over 1,800 women each year. So far they have successfully started agricultural programmes, completed a programme in the Bahamas for pregnant teenagers, and have partnered with the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation to help with their sewing initiative and provide computers to help the girls prepare for their CXC examinations.


A cheque of $1 million was also presented to WHOA from Red Stripe to help with the initiative.


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