Every now and then something comes along through the bush telegraph that grabs our attention and makes the day a little bit brighter.
This time it’s a report that that Belize’s First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow is behind an interesting initiative that kicks off with an exciting event this month.
Word is that over ten thousand Belizean girls are expected to become involved in “Girls Fly” a motivational program designed to help young women realise their dreams by believing in themselves and others.
Led by Gael Sylvia Pullen, a businesswoman, media host and speaker from the US, the effort also involves the very inspirational Ms Simplis Barrow and Dr Carol Babb, the Deputy Chief Education Officer from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and sounds like a very worthy endeavour.
The three women met with the local media on June 10 and described Girls Fly as an inspirational week of motivational talks and activities, beginning June 24, for Belizean girls and women.
Ms Sylvia Pullen said the idea is for, “…girls and women from the local community to have an experience that empowers them into believing into their dreams, to understand the power of their dreams and to celebrate them”
Ms Simplis Barrow, who is also Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children and held in high regard by many Belizeans, spoke about why she supports the Girl’s Fly initiative
“This is exactly what we want for our young girls and not just for our girls but our boys too; we definitely want to push for that so I don’t want the boys to feel left out, we will be doing something for them but I think right now, at this point is the correct time for us to start motivating our girls. I think an important aspect is for them to see in us what they can become because they have it right here in Belize not just abroad. It is good to have people from abroad to come in and to help motivate us but it is important to know that we are our own inspiration. We need to look at each other and look at the good that each one of us can do, are doing and will be doing.”
Dr Babb added that the June 24 – 29 “Girls Fly” is just the beginning, and she expects that the program will soon reach out to schools all across Belize.
As for the reason behind the initiative, Ms Sylvia Pullen said during her first visit to Belize she was so impressed by the warmth and hospitality of Belizeans that she felt compelled to “give something back”. The First Lady met her when they worked on supplying local hospitals with equipment donated through Project Care and the seeds were sown for a fruitful collaboration.
It sounds like a very worthwhile, ambitious project that will keep everyone, from organisers to participants, busy throughout the week. Ms Sylvia Pullen said, “And quite an amazing number of activities will take place during the course of the week and we are doing this to really validate Belize’s greatest treasure and that’s all of the beautiful natural resources here…but really the greatest treasure here in Belize are the people.”
We couldn’t agree more. Chaa Creek’s own Eco-Kids annual educational summer camp has proven that, given the opportunity, Belize’s young people leap at opportunities, rise to challenges and excel at a wide variety of disciplines. We have a great wealth of as yet untapped talent here in Belize, and initiatives like Girls Fly have the power to motivate young people and inspire them to go on to do extraordinary things.
We’ve posted some of the essays that the kids wrote as applications to the Eco Kids Summer Camp here on the Belize Travel Blog. Have a look at them and you’ll understand why we’re optimistic about Belize’s future.
We’re looking forward to hearing more about the Girl’s Fly and will keep you posted.