Girl POWA in Belize

Leadership , Supporters in Action

I live in a sleepy little town called Dangriga in Belize, and I decided it was time to organize a special event there to bring my community together. After months of planning, the Girl Up POWA Leadership Conference finally took place.

Because Dangriga is such a small town, it’s not usually the recipient of such conferences and opportunities. And while such opportunities exist elsewhere, many parents don’t have the resources to send their children abroad or are reluctant to send their girls.

With the support of my parents and Girl Up, I was given multiple opportunities to experience different conferences and summits, and through that, to meet all kinds of inspiring empowering and powerful women. I wanted to bring that uplifting and inspiring experience to the girls in my community.

Girl POWA Antoinette Moore

Antoinette Moore, attorney and human rights advocate, presents to the Girl POWA Leadership Conference.

At the Girl Up POWA Leadership Conference, I had women come speak who were not only experts in their respective fields but also advocates for the rights and wellbeing of women and girls. It was an honor to have Kim Simplis Barrow join us! She is the First Lady of Belize and Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children. Antonette Moore, a lawyer and longtime advocate for the rights of women and girls, also joined the event, as did communications consultant Sherlene Neal.

The conference consisted of three panels each focusing on a different area of leadership such as advocacy, goals, accomplishments and developing your career.

The conference was energetic and interactive; girls that I knew to be shy came out of their shells and asked questions and participated willingly and eagerly. It was such a beautiful thing to see and I knew that I was surrounded by my country’s next generation of powerful change-making female leaders!

This is a guest blog by Thandiwe Diego, Girl Up’s first-ever Teen Advisor from outside of the U.S. She serves on the 2014-15 Teen Advisory Board and hails from Dangriga, Belize. She started her Girl Up club, called Girl POWA, in 2011.