It is empowering to know that if people come together to address a social concern, that there can be real change. Lives can be forever impacted. A community can be safer for everyone who lives and visits. We can choose to be aware, we can choose to be involved, we can choose to impact the island in a way that empowers us all!
Bequia is a small island of about 5000 people located in the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is a beautiful place that I love deeply. However, like most communities in the world there are always areas that need improvement. The good news is that we don't have to wait for something bad to happen to respond. We don't have to wait on government program allocate funding. We don't have to stay quiet about how we want people to be treated within the community.
There is significant research that programs that focus on education, awareness, empowerment and the promotion of positive interactions can significantly reduce social concerns such as sexual violence. With a sexual assault rate of 39% in the country, why wait? Two hundred community interviews informed us that 90% of Bequia residents said they would participate in a program to help prevent violence. The community is ready. We Choose is here!
We Choose includes 3 programs and a social media campaign #WeChoose.
1) “Don’t Trouble We” – Dual-Gender Educational Classes for School-Aged Children
School age children will participate in classes that combine theory with action steps. Girls will be educated on communication techniques and safety strategies. Boys will learn about social responsibility and intervention techniques. Both genders will be empowered to have positive interactions and relationships based on mutual respect.
2) ‘We Together’: Communication and Defense Classes for Female Household Members
Female family members will participate in classes that focus on communication and self-protection through basic self-defense techniques. The aim is to improve communication related to personal safety between female household members and to provide verbal and physical techniques that can be used to defend against an assault.
3) ‘We Protect’: Creation of a Male Leadership and Protection Network
Adult males will participate in classes designed to encourage a healthy sense of masculinity and intervention techniques. The training commitment will expand a community network of leadership and social protection.
4) #WeChoose will be used to showcase decisions that empower. Find out more at www.wechoosesvg,org
and WeChoose Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WeChoose-236665193688068/
Will you choose to help?
#WeChoose #donttroublewe #wetogether #weprotect