Vulnerable women and their families will soon benefit from the social and economic interventions of a new charity organisation, Rainbow758 Foundation Inc., which aims to bring some economic reprieve.
But well beyond that, the charity organisation is keen to create sustainable solutions to the challenges that beset particularly women and girls.
The French equivalent for rainbow is arc en ciel, which denotes an arc in heaven or in the sky, and is the inspiration behind the name.
Rainbows signify hope, a break from the past, promise, light, new beginnings, resilience, colour, and vibrancy. The scientific phenomenon of the arc en ciel is what undergirds the work of the Rainbow758 Foundation Inc., and informs its philosophical underpinning.
The Board members of Rainbow758 Foundation Inc. are Dr. Joanne Mills- Felicien, Nyo Serieux, Lennel Malzaire, Jemy Altenore, and Mrs. Margaret Desir.
When asked about the genesis of and the driving motivation behind the organisation, the directors and volunteers are clear about one thing: the perennial issues that have plagued vulnerable women and children cannot be left to Government alone to resolve.
More hands on deck with resources and know-how from private sector, philanthropists and volunteers can go a long way to supplement the efforts of Government and other agencies.
The Rainbow758 Foundation Inc. endeavours to fill resource gaps, bridge the divide between the haves and the have nots, bring the invisible and vulnerable into sharp focus, give voice to the voiceless, create pathways to spaces that appear insurmountable, laden with hurdles; and breathe meaning into the lives of the forgotten and the marginalized.
More importantly, the Foundation endeavours to capitalise on emerging economic opportunities, where previously perceived gender barriers restricted access to women and girls. Evidently, this requires intervention in a myriad of areas: regulatory, legislative, financial, policy, and human resource development.
There is no escaping that there is a need to undertake comprehensive and sweeping public education campaigns to correct some of the misnomers that have informed our culture and to un-teach some of the long-held and established norms that interfere with the pace and progress of women and girls.
Rainbow758 Foundation Inc. has every confidence that, thanks to the tremendous goodwill, generosity and interest of local, regional and international partners, and in the areas highlighted, that they are well poised to benefit from the marrying of efforts and resources that can help realise their mandate.
The Foundation has assumed women and girls as its main target groups. No real social and human advancement can be realised if women continue to lag behind and are not fully represented at the board room table or in the political decision-making process, or do not benefit from development policies and social interventions.
The setbacks that women and girls suffer, therefore, are of grave concern and inspire the work of the Foundation.
Closing the multiple inequality gaps is a fundamental condition for achieving sustainable development. The intersectionality of the issues has informed the following seven pillars, which allow for simultaneous corrective interventions. The strategy itself, therefore, is reflective of the intersectionality, and adopts an inherent multi-pronged approach.
The Rainbow758 Foundation Inc., therefore, hinges on seven (7) key areas of focus or intervention. These are:
- Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (Inspire – Red)
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation (New beginnings – Orange)
- Girls in Early Childhood Education (The Winning Start – Yellow)
- Women and Climate Change (Arise – Green)
- Vulnerable Women (Awakenings – Blue)
- Human Rights (Entitlements – Indigo)
- Economic Empowerment (Clothed for success/ power and ambition – Violet)
There are other areas that, if they remain unchecked, and the silence continues to numb the collective social conscience and psyche, even against the backdrop of individuals or groups of vulnerable girls and women harrowing in pain, can translate into real existential risks.
Further, more recently, climate change has become part of the household lexicon all over the world.
For some, it is couched around global warming and melting glaciers and disappearing islands; for others, drying rivers and droughts with little or no reprieve. In other parts of the world, inexplicable off-season adverse weather events coupled with more voracious storms, hurricanes or tornadoes. All of which carry with them serious social and economic consequences, concerns about sustainable livelihoods, and inescapable human loss.
And, above all, tremendous environmental damage, dealing a considerable blow to our hope for sustainability. The data on the effect of those show that women and girls tend to be disproportionately affected.
Each focus area will benefit from a program of intervention couched under a phrase that best encapsulates and reflects the intent of the intervention and expected outcomes. Additionally, each focus area is inspired by the one of the seven (7) dominant colours of the rainbow: The colours have been deliberately chosen to align with the respective activity.
- The first area of focus Girls in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) will benefit from a program dubbed Inspire. The dominant or representative colour is Red.
- The area Entrepreneurship and Innovation will fall under the umbrella program, New Beginnings, signified by the colour, Orange.
- In many emerging societies, less than 50 percent of toddlers benefit from early childhood education. The number is even more acute for girls, in particular. Hence the focus on Girls in Early Childhood Education under the rubric, The Winning Start, with a theme colour of Yellow.
- Environmental sustainability has become almost synonymous with the colour green. For the Foundation, it signifies new shoots of hope, notwithstanding the ravages of climate change. The next area of critical focus, therefore, is Women and Climate Change, with Arise as the overarching theme.
- While we can boast of having reached several milestones, since the Beijing Declaration over 25 years ago, there is still so much work to be done on women’s rights, the plight of vulnerable women and children, and the still urgent call for parity. The following two pillars, therefore, focus on Vulnerable Women and Human Rights. The first is inspired by the notion of Awakenings and the colour Blue. The other, Human Rights, which will benefit from our program dubbed Entitlements, is represented by the colour Indigo.
- The seventh area earmarked for intervention is described simply as Empowerment, with the tagline Clothed for Success, and the ascribed colour Violet, which represents power and ambition.
The directors and volunteers have every confidence that the Foundation will have a meaningful impact on the lives of those it endeavours to help, preserving their human rights, and positioning them to gain economic independence over time.
SOURCE: Rainbow758 Foundation Inc. Headline photo: Stock image.