Sixteen women graduated from the Society of St Vincent de Paul Female Empowerment Project on 30 August in a ceremony held at Norton Hall. The project which was funded by SSVP partners in the United Kingdom, targeted women from the communities of Beaulieu, Grand Anse, St Paul’s, and Willis.
As part of the project, the women were engaged in 50 hours of training in a variety of baking skills including the production of bread, cakes and pastries at a commercially accepted standard.
The women were also trained in complementary life skills including budgeting, customer service, self-development, environmental protection, conflict resolution and spirituality by a cadre of local experts.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the program co-coordinator Mary Charles stated that the program was in response to the need to expand the services offered by the Society of St Vincent de Paul to include empowering citizens. The program therefore was aimed at encouraging the women to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.
Guest Speaker Mrs Ruthina Gabriel challenged the women to embrace the opportunities which they were given, to appreciate the time and effort which was dedicated to their development and to use it to positively influence their lives. She stressed to them the importance of living holistic lives, recognizing the importance of spirituality, morality and ethics.
Graduate Jamila Frank expressed gratitude on behalf of the graduates for the opportunities given, and assured all that the experience was highly appreciated, and will indeed be a pillar upon which they will build a solid foundation.
National President Mrs Margaret Wilson congratulated the participants and stated that the SSVP will continue to play an instrumental role in nation building.