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Sandals Foundation, Jabez House announce round two of Go Getter Initiative


Sandals Foundation, Jabez House announce round two of Go Getter Initiative

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The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals and Beaches Resorts, has once again thrown support behind local non-profit organisation Jabez House, to fund another round of their Go Getter Initiative.

The first phase of the programme was fully funded by the Sandals Foundation and provided six vocational training and economic empowerment opportunities to 12 female sex workers residing in Barbados over a 15-week period.

Jabez House, which was founded in 2012, provides a safe haven to female sex workers, facilitating their transition from the industry to alternative means of self-sufficiency and support. They are reporting that from the women who enrolled in the first round, and of those who completed the programme, five of the ladies have since found new jobs and have left the industry completely. 

Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke, said she was very pleased, but not surprised, to receive the success report from the programme: “We are very pleased to see the life changing impact that the Go Getter Initiative has had, not only on the women who went through the programme, but also their children and future generations. Seeing the progress that has been made in such a short period of time, with a number of participants actually finding other employment, is truly impressive and must be built upon.”

One participant who has since secured other employment and transitioned from the industry said she feels very good to be able to do “honest” work. “For a long time I thought I would never find a job. There were times I was really stressed but going through the classes and learning all that I did really helped me to be a better person. Now with work, I know the sky is the limit. I am really grateful for a programme like this.”

Director of Jabez House, Shamelle Rice, said several other ladies from the community had expressed a keen interest in enrolling in the programme, hence the need to start another round of the programme.

She said: “I really wish to express sincerest and heartfelt gratitude to the Sandals Foundation for seeing the work of Jabez House as one deserving of support. We know the work that we do, but whenever an entity stands with us, it really gives us that extra encouragement to keep going. Even more so, seeing the impact of our programmes on real lives keeps us going.”

Jabez House was also offered a full scholarship by a local health institution to provide a scholarship to one of the programme’s participants to pursue a Nursing Auxiliary programme. It has now been several months since her transition from the industry.

“It’s not over ‘till it’s over. That’s my motto,” she said. “I had a lot of dreams for my life growing up but life happens. With my new opportunity I intend to be my best ever with the help of God. Thanks to everyone for the support.” Two other ladies are currently working on plans to get their businesses off the ground.

The Go Getter Initiative offers six courses in vocational training and economic empowerment opportunities in hair dressing, makeup artistry, cakes and pastry making, information technology for business and business etiquette and also psycho-social support for the group. The second round is now underway with 14 women enrolled. (PR)