Over 600 girls empowered at Invest in Girls 2023
Weeks engages with students at the summit.

"INFORMATIVE", "funny" and "eye-opening" were just a few of the words used by Excelsior High School students to describe the presentation conducted by Shelly-Ann Weeks, founder and executive director of HerFlow Foundation at the Invest In Girls Summit held on May 1.

Weeks walked a captive audience of over 600 girls through important details they need to know in order to manage their periods.

Also speaking to the students were Dr Janice Johnson-Dias and Lisa Maxwell, president and director of GrassROOTS Community Foundation, who partnered with HerFlow to create the Invest in Girls Summit. Dr Johnson-Dias shared her experience from her roots in Retreat, St Mary to her rise as an accomplished educator, author and mother of the #1000BlackGirlBooks founder, Marley Dias.

"The GrassROOTS Community Foundation has partnered with HerFlow to execute the summit because the Invest In Girl Summit exemplifies what it looks like to make a meaningful contribution to girls' leadership, well-being and development. Girls can be in community with each other in a stigma-free and loving space," Maxwell said.

An animated Weeks (right), demonstrates the correct way to use menstrual products with the aid of Maxwell, and students at Excelsior High.

"Furthermore, at the summit, girls can get scientifically accurate and affirming information. It's our pleasure at GrassROOTS to collaborate, partner and amplify the work HerFlow does because it makes a fundamental difference in the lives of girls, their families, their communities and in Jamaica."

She also reminded the girls that, "It's not about where you started, it's about how you make the best of your opportunities and apply yourself that will help you achieve greatness."

Weeks believes that for Jamaica to realise its goals, we must invest in girls.

"Empowered girls are confident and capable. They will be integral to any progress that Jamaica intends to achieve," she noted. "As a country, there is much that we can gain by ensuring that every Jamaican girl has the resources to be their best."

In addition to the presentations, donations of books, menstrual products and period pouches were made to supply the girls in attendance. This was the third staging of the Invest In Girls Summit, with over 1,500 girls benefiting so far. The summit is scheduled to return in 2024.

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