Gender Affairs Minister Visits Upton Gardens Girls Centre – St. Lucia Times News

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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Minister with responsibility for Gender Affairs the Honourable Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte
paid a very special and long-awaited visit to the Upton Gardens Girls Centre last week
Friday, June 17, 2022.

The Minister was warmly received by the Director Mrs. Jacqueline Massiah – Simeon,
her staff and students.

The director took the opportunity to thoroughly brief Minister Albert- Poyotte on the
accomplishments of the institution, coupled with their challenges and future aspirations.

Mrs. Massiah – Simeon explained that there is need for increased awareness so that
more young ladies can come forward to benefit from programmes on offer at the Upton
Gardens Girls Center.

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According to the director quote: “We especially wanted Minister Poyotte to visit because
we see this as supporting the development of women in Saint Lucia. What we really
wanted to highlight was getting more information out there about what the center and
we thought that having ministerial support and talking about the center in their
constituency and sharing information would kind of expose the Centre to the wider
population. We see the role of the center as giving young Saint Lucian women a second
chance at success; this is where we see ourselves situated and so we wanted the
Minister to be able to spread this message for us.” (end of quote)

Minister Albert – Poyotte on her part noted the many synergies that can be created
between the Centre for girls and indicated that she was enthusiastic about partnering
with them in an integrated approach.

She remarked Quote: “This institution is of great importance to me, as a woman and
then as Minister with responsibility for Gender Affairs as well as Home Affairs. What I
learnt having engaged the managing director, is that there is need for greater
collaboration in giving support to this institution. And I see the agencies that would play
a major role would be Ministry of Education, Gender affairs, Equity, Home Affairs and a
few other agencies that could actually assist to make it a more viable institution.”

One of the success stories at the Centre is that of their greenhouse project, which
incidentally produced a healthy harvest of bell peppers just in time for the minister to
be presented which some as a token of appreciation for her visit and support of the
mandate of the Upton Gardens Girls Centre.

Source: Department of Home Affairs

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