International Day of the Girl Child - Founder of I AM A GIRL BARBADOS Alian Ollivierre.
AN INCREASING NUMBER of at-risk girls are turning to at least one non-governmental organisation that offers mentorship, to fill a void caused by the breakdown in family structure.
The founder of I Am A Girl Barbados said she believed this had led to a dramatic increase in its numbers– from ten girls in 2014 when it was established, to over 150.
While Alian Ollivierre acknowledged that far more helped was needed, she said girls had gravitated towards the family environment of the group at a time that society often made them feel excluded.
“The community is built on the premise that it’s holistic, so although our primary beneficiaries are girls, at the core it is to ensure that all sectors surrounding girls are impacted as well through capacity-building, whether that be community leaders, parents and guardians, institutions and teachers, guidance counsellors or social workers,” she explained.
With the help of their more than 1 000 volunteers, a far cry from the initial five, the founder said they had seen their girls exhibit heightened confidence and better decision-making skills.
Yesterday, I Am A Girl Barbados held its biennial conference, 50 More, at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, to celebrate International Day Of The Girl Child.