25 girls now have an opportunity to write their stories and get them published under “The StoryBoard Initiative,” a project supported by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security called. The project which targets vulnerable girls was launched at the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute (GWLI) at Cove-and-John, East Coast Demerara, on Monday.
The idea of this project is to impart creative writing skills along with functional literacy to develop storyboards written by girls who had difficult lives, but surmounted those challenges. Six teachers will assist the girls with their creative writing skills and six women journalists and members of the Guyana Press Association will mentor the girls.
At the end of this project, their stories will be published and the proceeds will be used in the interest of these very girls, the Ministry of Human Services said in a release on Monday.
During the launch on Monday, each girl was provided with a creative survival kit which includes a tablet, hygiene products, toiletries, stationary supplies and a backpack to motivate them and support them.
“We wanted to ensure that International Girls Day was not just marked by a message or something we said, but we wanted to do something that would make an impact on you; something transformative…something that can change your lives,” Minister Vindiya Persaud told the participants.
According to the Minister, the girls will be given the opportunity to share their stories “exactly as they are.” The proceeds from the books that are published will go right back to helping them build their careers and make their dreams into a reality, she said.
“We’re going to help you do more than just dream; we’ll help you make those dreams come through. Dreams do not have to remain dreams because you have a supportive network of all of us right behind you,” Dr. Persaud expressed.
Childcare Director Ann Green pointed out that the whole initiative was part of occupational therapy. “It will help you to deal with any issues that you have as young people. It’s a way of expressing yourself, especially if you cannot get anyone to hear you, so I want to encourage you to make full use of it,” she urged.
Greene told the girls that while the Ministry can light the spark, it was up to them to ensure that they keep the fire burning and remain motivated.