Advocacy and Health



WLI has supported a health Clinic  (located on the  same compound as the Sylvia Foote Basic School and the Mary Issa Infant School ) operated by HOPE Worldwide primarily through the financing of the salaries of the doctors. The clinic served the neighbouring underprivileged communities, offering primary medical and dental care as well as an adolescent HIV\AIDS Prevention Maze.  Regrettably the clinic was closed in 2010 when the major donor agency ceased its operations in Jamaica.

The Health functionality has been merged with the Advocacy Committee. 


The Women's Leadership Initiative is committed to help train adults to detect and prevent child sexual abuse.  We seek to work diligently to raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse and the steps needed to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to this reality.  We will continue to build bridges of cooperation to contribute to the well being of our nation's children. 

One of the vehicles that we have introduced to help us end Child Sexual Abuse, is our WLI funded “Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children” training workshops.

Darkness to Light is a U.S. based nonprofit organization, located in Charlestown, South Carolina.  Its main mission is to raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse, by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to this reality. Its training programmes have been scientifically proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviours.  This training incorporates a combination of survivor stories, expert advice, and practical guidance.  . It offers practical prevention training with a conversational, real-world approach.

It is a proactive answer to child sexual abuse prevention.

In May 2010 we initiated and launched the Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children programme in Jamaica.  Since then we have trained facilitators from several stakeholder organizations to effectively deliver and implement the “7 Steps to Preventing Child Sexual Abuse” Stewards of Children training, and how to assist youth serving organizations in creating and implementing organizational policies that protect children.  It should be noted that the Early Childhood Commission and the Ministry of Education have vetted this training programme and we have their full support. 


WLI has also sponsored a Stewards of Children training workshop in May 2012, September 2014, and May 2015.  The organizations that have participated in these WLI funded trainings are from a wide cross section of Government agencies, NGOs, and Principals and Teachers from Basic and Infant Schools surrounding the VOUCH Basic School, which has been a project of the WLI since our formation ten years ago.


Some of the organizations that have participated in these WLI sponsored trainings include :

 •             Child Development Agency

 •             CISOCA (Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse)

 •             Hope for Children

 •             Children First

 •             RISE Life Management

 •             Social Development Commission

 •             Jamaica Council of Churches

 •             Early Childhood Commission

 •             National Parent Teacher’s Association of Jamaica

 •             MOE, Guidance Counseling Unit

 •             Professor in school of social work

 •             Ministry of Health

 •             The Office of the Children’s Advocate

 •             Parenting Partners

 •             Children’s Registry

 •             Jamaica Independent Schools Association

 •             National Centre for Youth Development

 •             Department of Correctional Services: Juvenile Remand Center


  • The following Basic Schools in and around the VOUCH Basic School community:
    •  Sylvia Foote Basic School (VOUCH)
    • St Barnabas Basic School
    • St Pauls Basic School
    • Allman Town Basic School
    • Allman Town Infant School
    • Salvation Army Basic School


Our training in May 2015, focused on training the entire staff from VOUCH so that they could meet the necessary requirements to become a Darkness to Light Partner in Prevention”. They received this special distinction by  successfully meeting the following guidelines:

 ·         90 % of their employees completed the Darkness to Light “Stewards of Children” training.


  • They maintain a record of who has been trained.
  • They have a policy is in place that requires all employees to renew the training at least every 3 years.
  • Background checks are completed for employees prior to, or at the start of, employment.
  • They require (either as part of a child protection policy or in practice) that one adult-one child situations be observable or interruptible.


If we safeguard a child, we secure a Nation!


 Consistent with our advocacy program we have supported certain women’s issues relating to their status.

  Recent WLI Events in this regard  are:

 (1)    International Women’s Day (IWD)

 For the past two years we have hosted very successful IWD events:

 •      2013 - Luncheon around the UN theme: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”.

 •      2014 - Breakfast  in “Salute of Women On Boards”, where we acknowledged public and private sector companies with women on their boards


(2)    Partnership with Mona School of Business and Management (University of the West Indies) and Institute for Gender and Development Studies Mona Unit to stage a public lecture by U.S. Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater under the theme “Women’s Leadership: Transforming Self, Community and Country”


(3)    Support for the Motion: To Advance Women in Leadership in Politics and Decision Making proposed by Senator Imani Duncan Price and passed with unanimous support in the Senate in May 2014.


(4) WLI has a strong tradition of honouring Jamaican women who have distinguished themselves in the areas of Health, Education, Philanthropy, Volunteerism and the Arts