The MAM Squared/ Agitate Academy team had the vision for the Mo’ Girls Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Programme, but vision and will would not be enough to make such a lofty goal a reality. Partnerships were key to this initiative.
Massy Foundation, the first contributing partner to pledge their support of this initiative, did so by supplying a cash donation to aid the development of the Mo’ Girls Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Train the Trainers initiative as well as the wider programme. The United States of America Embassy’s Public Affairs Office and the YMCA also supported this aspect of the programme by providing free use of their spaces for an entire week. These partnerships allowed for potential facilitators to be trained in a safe and comfortable space so that they could put their best feet forward.
The train-the-trainers was just the beginning though, contributing partners supplied space for both the Arima and Port of Spain camps. At East Yard in Arima, V2 Marketing and Art on Purpose allowed Mo’ Girls to not only use but to transform their spaces into interactive, colourful and playful environments in which young ladies engaged wholeheartedly in the camp process. In Port of Spain, 26 girls made #2 Scott Street their home as they and the team decorated, reimagined and filled the space with life and laughter thanks to the generosity and support of SoZi Island and the McDowell family.
The support did not end with space donations either. In Trinidadian culture, food is often an expression of love and from that vantage point, the Mo’ Girls Camp was truly loved. Signing on as our first contributing partner to supply food and offering constant support and awesome customer service at every step of the way, Prestige Holdings Limited supplied lunch. The company sponsored lunches from KFC and Subway for both camps in gracious abundance and the Mo’ Girls participants were happy customers! Nestle supplied us with a very useful supply of cereal (Trix and Nesquik) for the girls’ breakfast needs (and sometimes served as mid morning snacks) for both camps. To wash it all down, Carib enthusiastically supplied cases upon cases of Smalta that served quite useful for both campers and facilitators alike. In Port of Spain, participants were also treated to cereal bars from Charles Chocolate and an extra special touch of love from Peche Patisserie, who supplied palmiers for a surprise end-of-camp snack.
The love was not only felt in our bellies, but all around as the camp received donations of pens and pads from the Regulated Industries Commission, the gift of documentation from Doux Doux Darling Productions, access to wifi from Bmobile, the power of technological tools from Population Services International-Caribbean (PSI-C) and donations of time and positive energy from our many Skill-share Superwomen (women entrepreneurs who came in and shared their stories and skills they use for their businesses with the girls) .
It truly took a village of civil society organisations, corporate citizens and extraordinary individuals to make the 2017 Mo’ Girls Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Pilot Programme a success!