USAID-Funded Project Empowering Women and Girls

Story Highlights

  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Fi Wi Jamaica Project, being executed through the University of Technology (UTech), recently hosted the second in a series of conversations called ‘Big ‘Ooman Chat’.
  • Ubuntu is a South African Philosophy, which means that through a common understanding, community members are able to help and care for each other as members of one family. It refers to the interconnectedness of humans…“I am because you are”.
  • In seeking to expand the window of opportunity for the protection and promotion of human rights, especially among young women and girls, the Fi Wi Jamaica Project forged a Women for Empowerment (WFE) network across Jamaica, comprising mainly community-based groups and non-governmental organisations committed to empowering women and girls.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Fi Wi Jamaica Project, being executed through the University of Technology (UTech), recently hosted the second in a series of conversations called ‘Big ‘Ooman Chat’.

Several successful professional and entrepreneurial women were invited to hear of the success of one major output of the project, ‘Girls using Ubuntu, Respect and Love for Entrepreneurial Success’ (GURLES).

Ubuntu is a South African Philosophy, which means that through a common understanding, community members are able to help and care for each other as members of one family. It refers to the interconnectedness of humans…“I am because you are”.

In seeking to expand the window of opportunity for the protection and promotion of human rights, especially among young women and girls, the Fi Wi Jamaica Project forged a Women for Empowerment (WFE) network across Jamaica, comprising mainly community-based groups and non-governmental organisations committed to empowering women and girls.

Chairman of GURLES, Professor Rosalea Hamilton, said the group was established to support entrepreneurship, mainly among women in the WFE network, by supporting entrepreneurial growth and building sisterhood, incorporating love, respect and other core values embodied in Ubuntu. The highlight of the Big ‘Ooman Chat was the conversation about a new album, ‘Big Woman Tingz’.

This album is being described as an artistic, eclectic and empowering body of music featuring 10 tracks from talented modern-day female artistes who are at varying stages of their careers.

The objectives of GURLES are to facilitate female empowerment; to build a viable network of female entrepreneurs; to provide forums for both teaching and learning; to raise awareness about the complexity of issues affecting females; to assist in creating funding, organising and promoting events that are being spearheaded by females, and to promote unity and sisterhood amongst females.

On May 21, 2015, the USAID signed a Cooperative Agreement to provide grant funding to UTech to execute a three-year national social-intervention project to expand a window of opportunity for the protection and promotion of human rights of targeted socially excluded and vulnerable members of the Jamaican population. The project comes to an end on May 20, 2018.

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