The Pineapple Foundation, an organisation dedicated to the capacity building and interconnectedness of women, will launch its mentorship programme on International Women’s Day on March 8.
The flagship programme "will pair teenage girls with women who will help to mould them into productive, charitable, conscious and soulful members of society," said a media release.
The foundation was launched on February 7 in Belmont. Its founder is councillor Nicole M Young.
In outlining its goals the foundation said, "Our mission is to aid women to create positive and sustainable change, through outreach, education, mentorship and network creation."
The release said Young "has the clear vision that the foundation will act as a support system for women of all ages and stages to help them develop into stronger individuals thus making a stronger society."
Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, who was guest speaker at the event, is an honorary member of the foundation. Guests, including students of St Francois Girls’ College, and the St Jude’s Home for Girls, both of Belmont, took part in a self-defence workshop and health screening.
"As a foundation created by women for women, we understand the need for girls and women to be equipped to defend themselves. As our nation mourns, we too stand in solidarity with the family of Andrea Bharatt and the families of all the women whose lives were violently taken away," the release said.
Explaining the the use of the pineapple as its symbol, the foundation said, "A pineapple does not grow from one seed. Several tiny flowers turn into berries that fuse together to make one fruit. At the Pineapple Foundation we see these berries as representing support, love, friendship, energy, wisdom and guidance from different members who help each other to become a whole fruitful being.
"We want them to grow as individuals to become amazing pineapples – they must be sweet, stand tall and wear their crown – but they must first learn from, share with and form a bond with each other."
The foundation has partnered with the Golden Eagle Martial Arts Academy to host weekly self-defence classes.