Forty girls between the ages of 12 and 16 attended the GLOWpower Retreat, designed to offer hope to victims of sexual abuse.
Participants, ages 12-16, enjoyed two days of presentations and activities aimed at boosting their self-esteem, helping them reclaim their dignity and introducing them to self-care techniques and corrective coping skills.
GLOWpower was free to the 40 participants, thanks to the generosity of The American Friends of Jamaica, the support of the Jamaican Women of Florida and that of several South Florida-based individuals.
Participants received backpacks filled with items including toiletries, feminine hygiene products, towels, sheets, journals, etc.
Sessions included “Changing the Inner Dialogue,” “Introduction to Journaling,” “Creating Your Safe Space,” “Move Your Body, Heal Your Mind,” and “After the Betrayal.”
The second day of GLOWpower was an official Jamaica 55 Diaspora Day of Service activity and was presented in concert with A Fi Wi Jamaica.
“As a survivor, I know the importance of peer support and of healing,” said GMD founder, author and motivational speaker Julie Mansfield, who is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. “It’s not enough to talk about the issue, we have to do something for these girls who continue to suffer in such great numbers. We must help them heal.”
GMD is based in Florida, but has an office in Jamaica. According to a release from the non-profit, some of the young ladies who attended the retreat said the following:
“I would like to attend another GLOWpower because I feel at home and understood.”
“What I like best about GLOWpower is that I cry [sic] and some of the stress feel less.”
“I would like to just say thanks to you and your team. I have to say it really helped even though I didn’t say anything.”
“What I like best about GLOWpower is that it allows a lot of people to feel comfort and it motivates and help them with their self esteem. I would like to attend another GLOWpower because they make people have high self esteem and we were treated really good and we had fun.”
“What I like about GLOWpower is that it brings together teenage girls that share similar experiences. I would like to attend another GLOWpower because it is empowering and educating.”
“What I like about GLOWpower is it empowers young girls to be who/what they wanna be despite the situation. I would like to attend the next GLOWpower because it’s informative and empowering. It brings (together) girls from all walk (sic) of life and background (sic) despite their past.”
“I would like to attend another GLOWpower because it has empowered me a lot (and) it has a great impact on us young ladies.”
“I would like to attend another GLOWpower because it helps me build back my self-confidence and self-esteem.”
For more information on how you can get involved, contact GMD at 305-299-5863 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.