Confidence, leadership and communication. This is Girls UP

20/12/2020 – “Confidence is like with any sport – it happens after more practice. It gives you your voice and makes you feel safe.”

Kerone Thomas, an Assistant Community Coordinator on the Fight for Peace coordinated UP Unity & Peace programme, knows how important confidence, optimism and dedication are.

For her, programmes like Girls UP help young women in communities in Kingston build their confidence, communication and leadership skills.

Funded by the US Embassy in Jamaica, Girls UP works to develop these skills in young people, especially young women, by providing leadership and communication workshops, contributing to safety plans in schools and communities, and offering self defence classes and sports activities.

“Females in my community face a lot of challenges. One of the greatest is abuse from men and peers. A lot of girls turned up to Girls UP to learn self defence techniques, but they benefited from talking to the team of social workers who were there to offer support.

It was a win-win situation, because the programme helped women in the community to feel supported and it made them feel more confident, more outspoken. And it made them more willing to talk to people about their problems.”

The Girls UP project was specifically designed to empower young women and girls in the communities in which UP Unity & Peace works, and to raise awareness on safety and confidence in addressing and dealing with abuse.

UP Unity & Peace is a programme coordinated by Fight for Peace which brings together multiple bodies and organisations in Kingston, Jamaica to work collectively in support of young people and to promote peace and inclusion.

“I think Girls UP and the UP Unity & Peace programme has impacted young people in my community, especially young women. If it hadn’t, then you wouldn’t see them coming back to sessions. We gave them a reason to come. With the Girls UP project, it impacted their life and that was a gateway for them.”

Together we get it done.