Spanish-Jamaican Foundation supports SDC's Young Women Empowerment Initiative
Spanish-Jamaica Foundation Manager Vanessa Meggoe speaks to young women at the Caribbean Military Institute/Community Centre Church Hill, Flanker, while Evett Malcom (seated), of the SDC, looks on.

"IF you educate a woman, you educate a nation" is the well-known African proverb which underpins the Young Women Empowerment Initiative being undertaken in the St James community of Flanker.

The initiative is spearheaded by the Social Development Commission (SDC) in collaboration with the Flanker Community Development Committee, with contributions from various organisations and entities including the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF).

The two-month-long initiative, which began in July, targets approximately 50 young women aged 17-35 years and involves training and capacity building, counselling, sporting engagement, economic opportunities, and welfare support. It is expected that at the end of the intervention the participants will be better able to take advantage of various social programmes and to strategically position themselves to access educational and job opportunities to better support their families.

The main aim of the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation's participation is to expose these young women to the various opportunities, both educational and professional, which are available with Spanish language acquisition — including increased employment prospects, the ability to earn additional income, as well as access to scholarships in Spanish-speaking countries. The SJF also provided the young women with feminine hygiene products and other tokens.

The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF), founded in 2006, is the collaborative effort of a number of Spanish companies with current investments in Jamaica. The main objective is to strengthen the friendship between Spain and Jamaica and, in realising this goal, not only undertake its own initiatives but actively participate in worthwhile programmes such as this so as to deepen these bonds.

The SDC is Jamaica's primary agency responsible for sustainable community development, and through this two-month programme is promoting inclusivity by identifying and designing strategies aimed at improving the quality of life of the residents in volatile, low-income communities, with an emphasis on alleviating some gender-based concerns.

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