Firefighters providing mentorship for wards of Portland Women’s Centre
Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Area Two, Julian Davis-Buckle tying the shoe laces of a young lady at the Portland Women's Centre on IWD

PORTLAND, Jamaica - Residents at the Portland Women’s Centre are still upbeat after they were showered with love by a team of female firefighters last Tuesday as the world marked International Women’s Day.

The firefighters, from the Area Two Division, headed by assistant commissioner in charge of the area, Julian Davis-Buckle, journeyed to the women’s centre with their message tailored to positively impact and influence the young ladies who may feel rejected by society.

“It was a fulfilling day and the venture was impactful for my team. We spent the day with the girls mentoring them and showing them how much they are appreciated. We let them know that while society in general will see them as unequal to their peers now, there are avenues they can utilise to get the equity required to bounce back,” Davis-Buckley told OBSERVER ONLINE.

The visit was also nostalgic for some of the female firefighters who were also wards of the state. They shared stories of how they managed to leap life hurdles.

“There were female firefighters who were students at the centre in their teens. They related their experience and journey and stood as a living proof that making that early mistake is not a life sentence. In my presentation, I also reiterated to them that they are young and their clay is still soft and moistened hence it’s still able to be moulded into whatever design they choose,” said Davis-Buckle

The messages from the firefighters resonated with the young ladies, who all vowed to be women of change and contribute positively to nation building.

“They took away a lot from our presentations and we know they would have been touched in a special way. The ability to give back in such a direct way and the reception from the ladies was very rewarding. The ladies started out being shy, but as the conversation and interaction lengthened, they warmed up, smiled, and laughed,” said Davis-Buckley.

She added that several members of her team have volunteered to be lifelong mentors to the young women at the centre.

“We ended the day with hugs and exchange of contact details. The student who offered the vote of thanks to us had her lace undone and I told her to sit and I tied her lace for her and immediately her shyness went away and she was able to deliver. It was such a beautiful moment,” said Davis-Buckle.

“We will be visiting the ladies sometime next week to deliver some packages donated by Lasco with sanitary napkins, toothpaste and other items,” added Davis-Buckley.

-Akera Davis

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