It is called Girls Fly, an organization led by Gael Sylvia, an American businesswoman, media host, speaker, and philanthropist. The program seeks at empowering women worldwide to become better individuals while sharing experiences with each other.
This week, Sylvia is in Belize to host sessions with Standard 4, 5 and six girls as well as women of all ages. She hopes to touch at least 10 thousand Belizean girls and women through the one-week program. A short press conference was held this morning and we were there.
Gael Sylvia - Prolific Speaker
"Girls Fly is a one day - multiple one day experiences for invited girls and women from the local community to have an experience that empowers them to believe in their dream, to understand the power of their dreams and to celebrate them. An example of the activities that these young girls and women will experience will be they will arrive at a local site (Belize Elementary Auditorium) and we'll actually celebrate their accomplishments because a part of believing in ourselves and believing instilling a sense of belief, the power of belief in others is to celebrate each road mark along that journey to accomplishing your dream. So they arrive to a really high energy - a celebration from their graduation from 8th grade, for example, we'll have an opportunity to celebrate with song and dance. They will also spend some time with some motivational and inspirational speakers - quite an amazing number of activities will take place during the course of the week. We're doing this to really validate Belize's greatest treasure and that's all of the beautiful natural resources here but the greatest treasures here in Belize are the people. This is not a one time experience, this is actually the introduction. This is also my second trip to Belize and the reason that I've come back is to fill a commitment that I made in my heart to bring to the world all of the best practices and wisdom that I experienced from women and men here in Belize. It's also to fulfill a commitment I made to the first lady in 2011 because under her leadership and guidance, she really reflects - along with Miss Babb and Ms. Lovell - what a girl and a woman can accomplish if they believe in themselves. So we're going to start this first new cycle of generations of women and girls with 8th graders and that transition year from Junior High to High School where they're often lost and become confused in terms of their own value and bring before them women of influence and other youth of influence that can reassure them and reaffirm them to keep going and not to give up. So we'll start with 8th grade but then we have activities going on throughout the week that will include older women as well."
Dr. Carol Babb- Deputy Chief Education Officer
"This is the beginning so we are targeting the Belize district - the Belize district manager Jamar Lopez will work out a schedule where there will be sessions, the entire week 24th - 29th, there will be a morning and afternoon session and so we will probably come up with north side schools in the morning and Southside schools in the afternoon. Each session will last about three hours and we're inviting all schools. There is no cost but schools are expected to bring their students to the site so they are responsible for their own transportation. We're also appealing to local business people to support, Gael is already investing a lot of her own funds so we're appealing to the businesses to help with snacks like with juice and with water and things like that."
Kim Barrow - Special Envoy for Women and Children
"The first project we worked on was with project cure when they donated some equipment to the hospital and the US Ambassador hosted the group at his residence and now Cadle connected with Dr. Babb and I had received information about Gael wanting to come back to Belize and to do this exact project which is inspiring our young women and of course this is exactly what we want for our young girls. Not just for our girls but for our boys too, we definitely need to push forward with that. I don't want the boys to feel left out, we will be doing something for them but I think right at this point is the correct time for us to start motivating our girls. I think an important aspect is that they see in us what they can become because they have it right here in Belize, not just abroad. It's good to get people to come in from abroad and help motivate us but it's important to note we are our own inspirations. We need to look at each other and look at the good that each one of us can do, are doing and will be doing. I am encouraging all the girls from all the high schools to be a part of this inspirational talk - 'Girls fly' talk and to come out and be motivated. It's a crucial time, the transition and it can only help you. This can only help to motivate you, and encourage you and to get you make it a little bit easier for you to walk down that path and to stay the course, to become a better person, a better leader, better family member and all of those wonderful things."
The sessions begin on June 24th through to the 29.