PRESS RELEASE FROM
11TH OCTOBER, 2016
Local, Regional and International NGOs collaboration and networking at its best; this is how we will describe the partnership amongst, GROOTS Trinidad & Tobago, Sistren Theatre Collective of Jamaica, GROOTS International, Huairou Commission, The Women and Gender Equality Commission of Guyana and the We Say Y.E.S. Organization of Laventille, East POS, Trinidad and Tobago as they journey to and participate in the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) conference in Quito, Ecuador between October 12th -20th, 2016.
So what do these NGOs have in common? They all have Grassroots Women Leaders, working assiduously to better their communities and countries. Women, such as Lana Finikin, Delores Robinson (Leaders of Groots Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago respectively), and scholarship winners, Renata Chuck-A-Sang (Guyana) and Nichola Harvey-Mitchell (Trinidad and Tobago) will be part of a delegation of women participating in this conference.
Short Overview of the Organisations:-
SISTREN THEATRE COLLECTIVE WITH GROOTS JAMAICA have been organizing and engaging women across Jamaica and Caribbean to advocate and educate women around issues of Gender base violence for the last 39 years and working with Municipal Councils on Safe Cities program for the last 7 years. They have also been partnering with HUAIROU COMMISSION to solicit scholarships for Caribbean partners to assist with their work and/or attend UN meetings and conferences. For eg. two (2) scholarships were given to GROOTS T&T nominated representatives, Renata Chuck-A-Sang and Nichola Harvey-Mitchell for the UN Habitat III conference 2016
GROOTS TRINIDAD & TOBAGO an affiliate of GROOTS International, was founded in 2015 and incorporated in 2016. GROOTS T&T is an umbrella NGO involve in activities that include the implementation and execution of workshops, community outreach activities and Counselling. The organisation’s core areas include Domestic and Gender Based Violence; Most at Risk population (male and female); Violence Against Women and Children; Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights; providing a safe and confidential space for Legal, Medical Counselling and Referrals as well as Peer Support sessions on Mental Health issues and HIV & AIDS.
WE SAY Y.E.S. ORGANISATION OF WHICH THE WE SAY “Y.E.S!!!” PROGRAMME FALLS UNDER: The “Y.E.S” programme was born in February 2012, as a response to increase youth gun violence, gang warfare and a passion to create more success stories from the East POS areas (at risk area). The programme is a three (3) year programme, focusing on youth entrepreneurship and self-empowerment whilst discovering their God-given talents and potential and parent empowerment. It targets children between the ages of 5 to 16 years. It is supported, by several volunteers and chaperones who work directly with the children, social tithing partners (corporate and individuals) who contribute financially to the programme and government and other private institutions who would provide additional support services to the programme. Their Founder and Director, Nichola Harvey-Mitchell being a Grassroot Leader was offered one of the scholarships, to attend this conference. Mrs. Harvey-Mitchell and the Advisors of We say Y.E.S Programme sincerely thanks UNOPS, Huairou Commission and GROOTS Trinidad & Tobago for this opportunity.
THE WOMEN AND GENDER EQUALITY COMMISSION (GUYANA) is one of the four Rights Commissions that falls under the umbrella of the Human Rights Commission. These Commissions are Parliamentary Commissions that report to the National Assembly annually. This Commission came into being in 2010. The main objective of the Women and Gender Equality Commission is to promote the national recognition and acceptance that women’s rights are human rights and that the attainment of gender equality is to be respected and protected.
- Promote gender mainstreaming in all policies and programmes
- Educate women and men n the benefits of gender equality and ending gender based violence
- Recommend, with the use of evidenced based data, timely policy and legislative initiatives to uphold women’s rights and gender equality
- Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of gender mainstreaming within society.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
The Women’s Assembly is meant to serve as a platform for the women’s constituency to consolidate their priorities and action agenda for the New Urban Agenda implementation. During the Assembly, Huairou Commission strives to consolidate the practical and strategic polity and implementation priorities that the women’s movement has forge to insure the New Urban Agenda empowers women, and to enhance the appreciation of the women’s movement/platform across the stakeholder groups such as local authorities, planners, researchers, indigenous, grassroots women leaders and more. The Assembly outcome document will become one of the official Habitat III conference outcome documents.
Founder of GROOTS T&T Delores Robinson will be a participant in The Grassroots Academy (October 12th – 14th) which is an award-winning tool developed by the Huairou Commission. This year’s International Grassroots Academy “Community Innovations for Resilient and Sustainable Urbanization”. This will take place prior to the Habitat III conference, creating space for women leaders from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss their strategies, share resources and best practices before the conference. It is an important time when grassroots women can meet, and learn strategies on how best to speak up about the issues in their communities, such as making cities safer, fighting violence, upgrading slums, accessing affordable housing and land rights, and having inclusive communities of opportunity where families thrive.
Our time in Quito will be/is packed with many events, including the Grassroots Academy (October 12-14); Delegation Orientation (October 14); Women’s Assembly (October 15) World Stage Performances (October 16); and the main Habitat III Conference (October 17-20) where there are several roundtables, networking and side events of interest, plus our daily Women’s Caucus.
The Huairou Commission will have a booth in the Exhibition Hall that will be a place to gather and meet friends during the conference.
WE CONGRATULATE ALL DELEGATES AND PARTICIPANTS