Women of Esteem (Foundation) is a registered volunteer based organization which has been in existence since 2011. In the first two (2) years of existence, WoE focused on offering emotional support to grieving individuals who had lost family members due to Crime.
Within the period (2011 – 2013), the level of Crime & Violence was shockingly high in Antigua & Barbuda. Young men and women were losing their lives senselessly; Women of Esteem stepped in and initiated Candle Light Vigils, Memorials and other supporting projects. The rise to take action, provide relief, comfort and awareness offered by our team to surviving families left a strong impression and gradually built confidence with the nation, sponsors and contributors alike.
Through further research from 2013-2015, our area of focus has evolved to educating teenage girls, our future generation, by supporting them so they can embrace their unique beauty, believe in themselves and reach for their dreams. In today’s media, saturated, sexist imaged world, girls are torn between what they dream for themselves and the boundaries society places on them. In order to survive these pressures, they often lose touch with themselves and their purpose. More specifically to Antigua and Barbuda, research studies indicate that 67% of teenage girls are pregnant before graduating high school.
In a proactive effort to eliminate this stigma, WoE specifically Embrace, Educate and Empower teenage girls through various initiatives such as Afterschool programs, motivational seminars, Camps and Peer counseling sessions to counteract the stigmas faced by girls primarily e.g. Teenage pregnancy, Abuse and Bullying.
Self-esteem has become a national crisis in Antigua & Barbuda. The majority of young girls today feel they do not measure up in some way including their looks, performance in school, families and relationships. Most disturbing is that girls with low self-esteem are engaging in harmful and destructive behaviors that can have a lasting imprint on their lives.
Women of Esteem (Foundation)’s decree is to educate girls with the right knowledge about their purpose, value, identity, beauty and their freedom of expression. ‘WoE’ focuses on developing positive self images, building body confidence, establishing positive mindsets and independence through responsible decision making while empowering them to set and achieve goals.
WoE has built an image representing profound integrity, positivity and a genuine dedication to rebuilding ‘Self-Esteem’ among our women & teen girls within the nation. Today, we remain steadfast in inspiring all girls to be Strong, Bold, and Smart.
Programs – WoE continues to develop research-based, informal, cultural education programs that encourage girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges. The #GoGirl – Control Your Destiny program is our newest empowerment initiative under the ‘WoE’ umbrella. It aims to redefine what true beauty and value for girls represent. Our programs provide girls with the skills and knowledge to set goals, overcome obstacles, and improve academic performance. We empathize and problem solve with them, teaching them how to connect meaningfully even when their lives, beliefs and opinions may be very different.
Our mandate is to inspire each girl to be inquisitive, ask questions, be authentic, brave and totally fearless when it comes to understanding who she is, pursuing her dreams, blazing a trail and making her spectacular mark in today’s society.
Presently, WoE is readily informed by girls and their families. ‘WoE’ has been working closely with policymakers to advocate for legislation and initiatives that increase opportunities for girls. At ‘WoE’, our aim is for every girl to grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Each program provides the girls a safe space to come together, discuss important topics and embrace positive life-changing experiences while making friends.
The goal of the #GoGirl campaign is to boost self-esteem, sisterhood, enthusiasm, create a positive school environment and provide every girl with the “tools she needs to become a strong, confident, fearless young woman and have a successful high school experience.”
#GoGirl program composes of a curriculum designed to ignite a movement of kindness and compassion among girls in schools across Antigua & Barbuda “putting an end to all discrimination against girls.
Projects– WoE has a unique innovative approach to delivering our message. For the 2015 year, major emphasis was placed on girls through activities such as Camp, Field Trips, health walks and adventurous initiatives which afforded the girls to display their truest abilities. Our 2016 program outline is completed and includes a Health Fair and Conference specifically designed for girls of all ages.
Funding - WoE is committed to maximizing all of our resources in benefit of the girls we serve. We are registered with St. John’s Co-operative Credit Union and adequate funding has been challenging which is the most detrimental to the success and growth of our main objectives as an organization and as a nation of Antigua & Barbuda.
Donors and supports are encouraged to make contributions of any amount or in kind to ensure the continued success of our advocacy work within Antigua & Barbuda. Contact us directly on 268-788-8808 or 268-720-7254; Please email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership - WoE programming can be offered anywhere women & girls are gathered, including girls homes, schools, churches and community centers. Presently our program is facilitated in 5 Secondary Schools and two (2) Girls Homes.
Our Executive body compromises of an 8 member team of dedicated professional men & women. They have been dedicating their time and skills to the vision of seeing every girl control her destiny.
Research - Local research has indicated that Antigua & Barbuda has the second highest rate in Teenage Pregnancy – 67%. This is a staggering percentage for such a small population. Additionally, the number of school drop-out continues to increase and girls are losing their hope in the future. Parents and guardians are seeking a solution to have their daughters find themselves, understand their unique abilities and overcome the obstacles they are facing daily.
Advocacy - WoE informs policymakers about girls' needs locally and nationally. We educate the media about critical issues girls face daily. In addition, the organization teaches girls how to advocate for themselves and their communities, using their voices to promote positive change.