YWCA of the US Virgin Islands Celebrates Women and Girls
YWCA of the US Virgin Islands (YWCA-USVI) held its Yellow Elder Celebration in Emancipation Park on April 2, 2011, as a follow-up to International Women’s Day hosted by the Governor’s wife, First Lady Cecile De Jongh. The Yellow Elder is celebrating women in the US Virgin Islands who perform with a spirit of excellence and creativity in all sectors and who serve as stalwarts in the community and demonstrate tenacity and resilience.
The Yellow Elder is the official flower of the Virgin Islands, and these brilliant yellow blossoms flourish all over the island. Known for its beauty and wellness benefits when prepared as a tea, the YWCA chose to name the event after this flower and to honour women and girls as they too are unique blossoms.
The day’s events included informational tables that provided handouts and tools relative to decreasing domestic violence, HIV and AIDS, girl’s mentorship, microenterprise, and personal and leadership development. The YWCA-USVI distributed information on the World YWCA movement, as well as local programme and membership materials. Members of the Y-Teens programme staffed informational tables, assisted with set-up and all other activities of the day. All organisations present shared with attendees information about their current and planned initiatives. A special stall selling craft items from the YWCA of Rwanda was set up as an expression of the YWCA-USVI’s support for women in Rwanda and the craft project of the YWCA of Rwanda. Music and poetry was offered by the St. Andrews Youth Choir, local music students, and an elementary school girls mentoring group called the Progressive and Dynamic Girls Club.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to share information on the YWCA-USVI and the World YWCA, as well as to embrace the work that other sister organisations do daily in our Virgin Islands, in celebration of the resilience of women and girls in the territory,” said Donnalie Cabey Edwards, President of the Board of Directors of the YWCA-USVI.
The General Secretary of the YWCA-USVI, Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe, shared “this event provided us with an opportunity to highlight the focal areas of our work, collaborate with other women-serving organisations, while continuing to expand our presence and ability to serve in our community. We plan to host more Yellow Elder events, and are excited about hosting another one during YWCA Week in November.”
Other organisations that also took part in the Yellow Elder Event were “HOPE INC, the Virgin Islands Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council (DVSAC), Sisterhood Agenda, the Progressive and Dynamic Girls Club, and the YWCA-USVI Y-Teens Group.
The YWCA of the US Virgin Islands has been working towards affiliation with the World YWCA movement and will be present at the World Council meeting in Zurich. It has been reaching out to the community through information dissemination and collaborative partnerships in order to extend its outreach and spread information about the World YWCA movement.