CASTRIES, St. Lucia, February 8th 2017 – A group of secondary school students and two local organisations working to eliminate violence against women were the focus of a regional bank’s International Women’s Day outreach on March 8th.
CIBC FirstCaribbean hosted a panel discussion for 3rd and 5th form students of the St. Joseph’s Convent, with the theme: Gender Parity and Equality in the Workplace. The discussion was well received by the students who used the opportunity to quiz the female panelists on their inspirational journeys to success in their positions of leadership within the bank as well as receive guidance on career management.
The bank also made contributions to both the St. Lucia Crisis Centre and the Women’s Support Centre, two organisations actively working towards eradication of domestic violence in our communities.
During the presentation, Lancia Isidore of the St. Lucia Crisis Centre, noted the contribution of the Women’s Support Centre to society. “We try to break the cycle of abuse by not only focusing on the adults engaging in domestic violence, but also starting with the youth, teaching them proper conflict resolution skills and how to deal with issues without resorting to violence. In addition there is a 24 hour toll-free hotline, which can be accessed by dialing 202, where individuals can receive crisis counselling, information and referrals,” she said.
Sylvie Edward and Jenifer Volney of the Women’s Support Centre expressed gratitude and spoke of the benefits of the donation to their organisation. “Educating people and outreach are very important within our communities, schools and workplaces. We are also a residential setting, where we provide shelter and a supportive environment for vulnerable women, so we have to provide amenities like food, clothing, school supplies and medication. This donation will support these needs as they arise,” the women explained.
Speaking during the presentation, Country Manager Ladesa James-Williams noted, “Our support of these two organisations is timely, particularly given incidents of domestic abuse that we hear about in our communities. With this year’s International Women’s Day theme: Be Bold for Change; our contribution will assist these organisations in meeting their goals of impacting change within our communities through education, counselling and providing a safe environment for women and their families.”
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s female employees were also treated to a special lunch, with a short health and wellness presentation in the afternoon from Dr. Maha of the Ojas Spa and a short presentation by a representative of Families in Action. Winding down the day, the ladies participated in an invigorating exercise session courtesy of Labordes Gym.