Bridgetown, Barbados – Jabez House “Go Getter Initiative,” a programme designed to facilitate alternative economic empowerment opportunities to female sex workers through vocational and business training, recently received a major financial boost after the charity received a BB$20,000 grant from the Sandals Foundation.
The Go Getter initiative officially began last month with the grant funding six courses in vocational training and economic empowerment opportunities to the women in hair dressing, makeup artistry, cakes and pastry making, information technology for business and business etiquette over a 15 week period. Twelve weeks will be spent in training with the remaining three weeks to be used to provide mentorship to the women. The project will also include psycho-social support for the group.
Jabez House was formed in 2012 to provide a safe haven to female sex workers, facilitating their transition from sex work to alternative means of self-sufficiency and support. This is done primarily through the free vocational training programme with a major emphasis on entrepreneurial and employment opportunities.
“We are very pleased to have received the support of the Sandals Foundation in making the “Go Getter Initiative” possible. We are always honored when entities come alongside us and help us offer real value and impact to the clients we serve, empowering women and transforming lives,” said Founder and Director of Jabez House, Shamille Rice.
Each class is two hours long weekly with all materials provided free of cost to the women.
The grant was provided through the Sandals Foundation Women Helping Others Achieve (WHOA) programme, which seeks to identify projects that will help women in crisis by providing them with counselling and also the tools of empowerment such as skills training.
Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation Heidi Clarke said the foundation was especially excited to support the Jabez House Go Getter Initiative as it perfectly aligns with what the foundation is working to achieve in communities across the region.
“The foundation’s goal, with regards to women empowerment, is to equip them with the necessary skills to be completely self-sufficient and independent and that is what Jabez House is working to do with the Go Getter Initiative. Jabez House is reaching out to a group of vulnerable and at-risk women and providing them with the tools to be able to provide for themselves and their families and we are extremely pleased that we are able to support this. We believe that stronger families create better communities and in turn better nations, which is our mission for the Caribbean,” Clarke said.
In addition to its main vocational training programme, Jabez House also provide other services for the women, which include providing food, clothing, counselling and sexual and reproductive health care such as STI testing, pap smear, condom distribution and general health checks.