By Cyndie Demming
March 8, 2012
Carol Bellamy’s wise words still resonate with many of us, “The economic benefits of investing in children have been extensively documented. Investing fully in children today will ensure the well-being and productivity of future generations for decades to come. What is needed now are increased efforts to promote youth participation and commitment; more services aimed at youth; more parental involvement; more education and information, using schools and other sites; more protection for girls, orphaned children and young women. Together let us build the global alliance to realize that goal, secure in the knowledge that in serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interest of all humanity.”
Our everyday young girls are poised to become tomorrow’s leaders. It is with this in mind why this year’s theme in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th speaks so loudly to me, “Connecting girls; Securing Futures.” This raise the question, how can we as a progressive society positively engage in securing a safe, healthy, and productive future for our girls?
Are we ready to lend a supportive hand and offer opportunities to let their inner light shine to reflect the beauty of their inherent capacity for growth? Are we prepared to nurture and empower them to recreate themselves for the future? Or, are we are willing to just sit idly by and let their lifeline be constricted by fear, worry, rotten attitudes, resentment, hopelessness, sexual, verbal and physical abuse, emotional turmoil, victimization, discrimination, unemployment, lack of personal development and their personal vision disquieted with uncaring, misguided and loveless relationships?
I invite your support to train, retrain, and create positive outcomes in connecting our girls with what I call involvement through participation with role models, mentors, and coaches who will facilitate among other areas of training; learning to love oneself, leadership in the 21st century, finding the true beauty in self and others, advanced educational opportunities and early detection of challenges with corrective measures.
If we are to indeed connect with our girls, there must be opportunities through succession planning in all facets of society. We must provide the avenue to fan the flames and ignite their light to keep it aglow. Girls are an important human resource … a very powerful resource I may add … without whom our economic growth and development will be further diminished.
I encourage girls the world over but specifically the girls of St Kitts and Nevis to be proud of who they are and who they will become with our support. It is imperative that we as a people must connect with them to secure their futures, let us together join the cause to urgently expose their light as a symbol of hope, peace, and prosperity for girls everywhere.
It is therefore necessary that I make an urgent call today to all stakeholders to make a significant contribution to the wellbeing of our girls. The world could be their oyster if we only lend a hand. I am confident with your contribution the stage will be laid for them to reap the benefits and lead a purposeful life.
I indulge you to seriously concentrate on the words of Marian Wright Edelman
“Investing in children is not a national luxury or a national choice. It is a national necessity. If the foundation of your house is crumbling, you don’t say you cannot afford to fix it while you are building astronomically expensive fences to protect it from outside enemies. The issue is not are we going to pay – it is are we going to pay now, up front, or are we going to pay a whole lot more later on.”
It is only then, when we realize that investing in girls is a national obligation we will be able to celebrate with a sense of purpose the recognition of 101 years of International Women’s Day. The ball is in your court …. The rest is left to be seen.
Cyndie Demming is a local activist.
March 8, 2012
Photo: Courtesy blackyouthproject.com