Female Leadership Community at Ocean Academy in Caye Caulker, Belize

The Ocean Academy Female Leadership community (FLC) is an elective enrichment program that empowers young women to strengthen their leadership skills, while experiencing growth and identity development through the power of sharing, teamwork, and earned success.

Encourage them in becoming a strong, fierce, and empowered woman! A leader for their community! Working with other young women to create a unique community entirely dedicated to their needs.

The FLC is conducted around 3 units: ignite, educate and agitate.

Ignite: Create community through safe space creation, sharing of stories, empowerment rituals, and sistahood.

Educate: Empower young peoples’ minds through the exploration of the unique issues affecting young women today through reading, researching, and journaling.

Agitate: Become empowered leaders through the development of a community-based action project that will ignite and educate other youth and/or the larger community, and share the values of the FLC community.


FLC group attended the 8th Annual Women’s Summit

 Shania’s take on the women’s summit:

My favorite part of today is the Gender presentation by Ms. Jenny Lovell. Her presentation talks about the working rolls placed on a child based on gender. I personally have been reviewing work based on gender. I support her stand to break the stigma of traditional gender roles for boys and girls and I realize that boys and girls are able to do the same kind of work. There is not really a job that is gender specific. Parents must start to instill in their children that no matter the age or gender, you can do both – a male or a female job traditionally speaking.

 Cheyenne’s take on the women’s summit:

My favorite part of the 8th Annual Women’s summit is the topic Gender Equality and Sexual Harassment in the workplace. I love these topics therefore I want to learn more and share information about them.

Today I learned that sexual harassment happens everywhere and anytime. Women, youth and even children have been sexually harassed. Sexual harassment is one of the top rated problems worldwide, also here in the streets of Belize. Men and boys don’t have any respect for young girls that pass by on the road. I agree with the discussions and the presentations by these women here today, the advice they shared and their personal stories they also shared with us.
I’m enjoying their speech!
There is little we can do about sexual harassment – yet. It’s not legal here in Belize, it can be reported to the police station, but then things might get even worse.

 I’sha’s take on the women’s summit:

The best part of the day for me was Ms. Jenny’s take on gender socialization. She brought out the depths of it and explained it with great examples.

I also loved the poem written and presented by Kyraan Gabourel.

Today was one of the best days in my life and I hope I can come back next year for the 9th annual women’s summit. Today I learned about things that I never knew or heard of before.

I think the theme of the summit was very good:
‘The gender agenda: gaining momentum’

 Xena’s take on the women’s summit:

My favorite part of the day was the issue of sexual harassment. Michelle Irving provided us with real events that currently take place in the Belizean society. Women and many teens are being targeted and recruited by men. Not only physically, but verbally with filthy phrases. The information, Ms. Michelle gave us was very interesting. We need to uplift a woman’s right to where we can be respected and approached in a mannerly way.
We – the young generation – need to become more active in dealing with the problem of sexual harassment.

 Kyra’s take on the women’s summit:

I think the most important words said today are:
‘What is gender’? I believe that many people don’t know the difference between sex and gender. I loved Ms. Jenny’s topic: ‘ Impact of socialization on children through the life cycle’.
She explained how parents and others classify how boys and girls should be.

Also the discussion about sexual harassment was very interesting.
Sexual harassment is a big issue countrywide and many teens and women have been the controversial issue. Some women have filed several complaints, but they have not been settled yet. A comment from the social worker from the University of Belize has grasped my attention. She spoke about doing a parade in April against sexual harassment in the streets of Belize. She is planning a parade where women will wear white T-shirts and design them with a logo like: ‘ My name is Kyra – I’m not your baby’.

I really enjoyed the summit. All the speakers inspired me, especially Ms. Jenny. This was a great experience.