BPW Barbados Food Security Project

BPW Barbados Food Security Project

Food security is a concern in vulnerable populations. Victims of gender-based violence often do not have sustainable means to obtain food and BPW Barbados wants to change that. In partnership with a local female farmer, BPW Barbados has created a food security project teaching clients of the Shelter how to grow their own food. The Shelter staff and clients have created a garden, by ploughing the land in and around the shelter, finding containers to plant food, acquiring gardening tools in order to grow their own food. Seedlings have been obtained via purchases and donations from a local company. So far chives, tomatoes, parsley, squash, thyme, spinach and a variety of peppers have been planted.

At present the women in the shelter are engaging in entrepreneurial activities which include the making of bottled seasoning, fish cake batter and pepper sauce. The current kitchen garden will supply many of the herbs and vegetables needed to make these products.

BPW Barbados is actively seeking to partner with female-owned agriculture-based businesses or farms to grow this project. One of our goals is to grow our own food to sustain the Shelter, which provides food free of cost to clients and their families.

With the changes brought about by Covid-19, growing your own food can help women to feed their families, lower the cost of their food bill and helps to develop new skills and opportunities for entrepreneurship. The BPW Food Security Project is ongoing, and clients are encouraged to be part of this initiative, even after they have left the Shelter. BPW Barbados is also encouraging their general membership to be part of this project and has extended the invitation to other Caribbean BPW clubs to start a similar initiative in their countries.

For more information on this project contact the BPW Barbados Club at, 246-280-5068.

Photos of the vegetable and herb garden at the BPW Shelter.


Domestic Violence: Trends, Causes, Solutions

In observance of the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women, BPW Barbados is hosting a discussion on “Domestic Violence: Trends, Causes & Solutions” on Thursday, 29 November 2018, 6pm at the Moot Court, UWI. St. Michael. Speakers include Attorney-At-Law and Child Advocate Champion Faith Marshall-Harris; head of the Family Conflict Intervention Unit of the Royal Barbados Police Force Sgt. Christine Husbands; local psychiatrist Dr. Sharon Harvey. The panel will be moderated by Nalita Gajadhar, Senior Programme Officer, Bureau of Gender Affairs. All are invited to attend.

BPW Barbados Domestic Violence Flyer-01


New Executive Installed

BPW Executive 2015-2017  Left to Right - Marlene Hewitt, Alison Mullin, Marva Brown, Carl-Ann Bradshaw, Marrianne Burnham, Jenifer Johnson, Mary Thompson, Anita Walters, Sandra -
BPW Executive 2015-2017
Left to Right – Marlene Hewitt, Alison Mullin, Marva Brown, Carl-Ann Bradshaw, Marrianne Burnham, Jenifer Johnson, Mary Thompson, Anita Walters, Sandra Britton and Nicole Alleyne-

March 1, 2015 saw the installation of a new Executive for BPW Barbados with a beautiful flower ceremony.  Comprised of some new and some familiar faces, these women will be leading the organisation for the next two years and have begun their work in earnest.

The newly elected President, Jenifer Johnson, reminded the Club members present at the installation ceremony, that each of them could make a difference, as the Executive cannot do it alone, noting that the success of any club was dependent on the participation of its members.

She also expressed thanks to the previous executive for their valued and selfless contributions, as the Club moves forward with continued vigor and positivity.

Some ideas the new executive plans to implement include building a  database of professional women in Barbados, tackling fundraising on a larger scale and focusing more on building skills of women in business, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

The positions filled by the elected women for the 2015-2017 terms are as follows:

President – Jenifer Johnson

Vice-President – Nicole Alleyne

Treasurer – Anita Walters

Immediate Past President – Marrianne Burnham

Programme Officer – Mary Thompson

Crisis Centre Coordinator – Marlene Hewitt

Shelter Coordinator – Marva Browne

Public Relations Officer – Alison Mullin

Recording Secretary – Sandra Britton

Young BPW Rep – Carl-ann Bradshaw

Congrats Ladies!


BPW Crisis Centre supports UWI STAT’s Awareness Day

With the hope of informing females on domestic violence and ensuring that they know the ‘red flags’, the Business & Professional Women’s Club of Barbados attended the UWISTAT’s Year of Awareness Day, held on the lawn of the Guild of Students, Cave Hill Campus.

In addition the Business & Professional Women’s Club is hoping to make students aware of the options available to them after finding themselves in various unfavourable situations.

The organisation, which is in 96 countries around the world, focuses on lobbying for equality and social justice for women.

DSC_0428 (1)
Marlene Hewitt, Crisis Centre Coordinator for the Business and Professional Women’s Club (right) and Carl-Anne Bradshaw engage with a student on campus.

Marlene Hewitt, Crisis Centre Co-ordinator for the Business & Professional Women’s club indicated that the organisation, which has been around for many years, is proud of its achievements thus far but more still needs to be done in terms of disseminating the message.

With the establishment of of a crisis hotline which deals with rape, sexual assault, domestic violence and suicides, the organisation has made strides, with the highlight being the introduction of a shelter for women and children who have been abused.

Noting that there are several in need, the organisation has had to cut back on persons being taken in and on staff, given the reduction in finances received from the government. However, the organisation is still committed to helping those in dire need of assistance.

With regard to the debate surrounding female abuse of men and what can be done, Ms. Hewitt believes that men need to take responsibility, step up to the plate and offer assistance to men in whatever ways possible. According to her, men’s needs will not be the same as women’s and such a shelter may not be required, but at the same time men need to explore the options available, have talks with the government and other organisatons and put more institutions in place to deal with the issues.

Loop News Service


CIBCFirstCaribbean Donates to BPW Shelter Project

BPW Barbados received a kind donation from CIBCFirstCaribbean to assist in the upgrade of the BPW Shelter that houses women and their families who are victims of gender-based violence. The donation of BDS$10,000 will go a long way to make the present and future clients of the facility more comfortable when seeking safe housing at the BPW Shelter. New President of the 2015-2017 term Jenifer Johnson was proud to join Immediate Past President Marrianne Burnham and Crisis Centre Coordinator Marlene Hewitt to accept the donation. BPW Barbados thanks Country Head Donna Wellington and the CIBCFirstCaribbean team for considering their very worthy cause and contribution to the upkeep of the facility.

Clip taken from Barbados Today (



IWD 2015- Make It Happen!


Support our partners and friends for International Women’s Day.

Come out to Mama Mia’s Restaurant @ 530PM for an evening of Jazz and Fashion in support of a very worthy cause – the BPW Shelter.

women's day final 1makeithappen




10995995_839159812810062_2680432053016262707_nWomen and Sport Commission invites you to wear a shirt of any cause you support and come out and Make It Happen and the the Barbados Olympic Centre. Participate in the 5KRun/ Walk, Zumba or other fun activities for a very worthy cause!


International Women’s Day Activities – Make It Happen!

2015 Calendar of Events For International Women’s Day

Theme: “Make It Happen”

*BPW Select Events – Events BPW Members & Friends are asked to an extra special effort to attend

BPW Barbados supports all International Women’s Day Event – support as many as you can!

March 8

BPW Select Event

International Women’s Day Service Women of Purpose Ministries Ellerton Wesleyan Holiness Church, St. George 8:00 a:m
March 8 International Women’s Day Service  Women’s Department of the St James Parish of the New Testament Church of God Fitts Village New Testament Church of God St James 4:00 p:m
March 8 Panel Discussion Christ Church Parish Church Mother’s Union Christ Church Parish Church Centre 5:00 p:m
March 8 Breakfast  for :At Risk “ youth cost $35:00 Barbados Faces Divi South Winds Hotel 8:00 a:m – 10:30 a:m
March 8 Telethon Lunch  cost $45:00 Barbados Faces Divi South Winds Hotels 11:00 a:m- 2:00 p:m
March 8 A Nostalgic Review Anthony Poser Grazette Divi South Winds Hotel 6:00 p:m
March 8

BPW Select

 Town Hall Meeting for the Launch of HeForShe UN women Queen’s Park Steel Shed 5:00 to 7:00 p.m
March 8

BPW Select Event


Champion Your Cause” 5K Walk/Run, the Patsy Callender CrossFit Challenge, and a 30-minute Zumba workout Women and Sport Commission of the Barbados Olympic Association Olympic Centre in Wildey, St. Michael. 3pm-6pm
March 8

BPW Select Event

Jazz & Fashion Show with Kartushe Boutique & Diamond’s International

(Proceeds go towards BPW Shelter)

Mama Mia’s Restaurant & Friends

BPW Barbados

Mama Mia’s Italian Deli, Hastings, Christ Church 5:30 – 7:30PM
March 9 Lecture on The Silver Woman: A Glimpse Into the :Lives of West Indian Women in Panama National Library Service Headquarters of the National Library Service 7:00 p:m
March 12 Joint Women’s Club Meeting for International Women’s Day Tickets $40 Living Waters Community Centre Hosted by the Canadian Women’s Club 9.30-2:00pm
March 21 Public Lecture on Feminist Dialogue Boycotts and politics of Transnational Feminist Solidarity in Isreal and Palestine by Dr. Wafaa Hasan Institute for Gender and Development Studies Lecture theatre four

CLICO Centre for Teaching Excellence

7:00 p:m
March 31 Girls’ Talk Workshop National Task Force on Crime Solidarity House 9:00 a:m – 3:00 p:m




A look at Young BPW Member: Rashida Beckles – Today’s Future

The members of BPW Barbados enrich the organisation and make it what is is. The future of BPW Barbados is in the hands of our young members. Take a look at our Young BPW Member Rashida Beckles. (Original Article from Barbados Today, December 10, 2014 Edition).

Name: Rashida Beckles

Age: 27

Education: University of Southampton; University of the West Indies (Cave Hill), Combermere (Sixth Form only), Christ Church Foundation.

Qualifications: MSc in social policy and social research, BSc in sociology (special).

Occupation: Human resources coordinator.

If you had the opportunity to announce yourself to the world, what would you say?

Truthfully, I would let the world figure out for themselves and just continue to do great things behind the scenes. I wouldn’t have to announce myself; it can be and has been observed that I am here. I am a leader and a change agent by what I do, have done and where I have been.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about life and how people, more specifically how youth, view life. I am passionate about birthdays, celebrating them, and treasuring each day you live. Other areas I have a passion for include youth development, sexual and reproductive health, human rights, culture and the arts.

Rashida Beckles

Where did the love and interest for social issues, development and structure start?

This was born through having a very active and involved family, and great exposure to world issues. There was and is something innate within me to always want to help, assist and try to make things better; I apparently use to ask “why” a lot too.

From young I had an awareness that not everyone was fortunate, and I displayed many characteristics of what it meant to be an active citizen, and giving back in some form or fashion. As a result, from a very young age I was involved in groups such as the Brownies, Environmental Club, Debating Club and, of course, Key Club where I would have been both the charter president at the Christ Church Foundation School, and charter governor for the Caribbean Atlantic District of Key Club International.

Most social science students normally complete a thesis. What was yours on?

My thesis was on the impact of incarcerated fathers on the behaviour of their offspring. It really was envisioned to investigate if children with fathers in prison would themselves end up as delinquents within the criminal justice system. Interestingly enough, the correlation was not strong enough to conclude such.

However, it was discovered that many children at that time were not aware their fathers were in prison. Additionally, the fathers who were in contact with their children tried to guide them to understand the importance of doing the right thing so that they too did not end up at the Government Industrial School or later Dodds Prisons.

What was your experience like as a research assistant with CARICOM?

Phenomenal! Much of the work was with other young regional researchers who collaborated on a project that focused on small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as public procurement frameworks.

This field at the time was generating much interest and buzz, as many young people were attempting to create businesses, and the research sought not only to investigate the characters of these SMEs, but also how within the region they were managing and what business support avenues were required for them to thrive.

You have been involved for quite some time with HIV/AIDS awareness and education. How have you served in this area?

The vast field of HIV and AIDS has both served me, and I served it. From my experience being an HIV volunteer to being educated more on behaviour change communication to advocacy, community outreach, creating innovative youth programmes and planning events, I realized that this was another avenue for me to ignite change amongst my peers and then through partnerships with like-minded colleagues within organizations such as UWIHARP, Youth Advocacy Movement, UGLAAB, UNWOMEN and Catch-A-Fyah.

I then moved into more formal roles within the National HIV And AIDS Youth Committee, then the St John HIV And AIDs Education Committee, and even securing an internship with Monitoring And Evaluation Of HIV programmes in the Eastern Caribbean and later serving as a research assistant on a World Bank project review.

This leverage has aided me in the skills of public speaking and more importantly feeling comfortable with myself and my feelings on the topics involved, and then finding avenues to touch on a dynamic social issue which many back then refused to discuss, and so many still think   they are invincible to.

In 2012, I was the proud recipient of the UWI Gender Studies-Nita Barrow Unit Award for contributions to youth advocacy and HIV awareness. I would have been the youngest awardee at the event.

You spent eight months in St Lucia as an intern. Tell us about that opportunity.

Wonderful. I was able to work with professionals from across the region on a phenomenon, which has and continues to affect our populations on a social, economic, developmental and health level. Being able to contribute to such research which can and has changed the life of someone and/or their family is a great reward because at the end of the day many of us are unaware of and ignorant to many of the changes people living with HIV (PLHIV), their families and caretakers face.

This opportunity also exposed me to regional travel, as research had to be conducted in each of the OECS countries to collect data from community centres, hospitals, NGOs, pharmacies, etcetera.

If you were a shoe, which one would you be, and why?

Hmmmm, Dr Schools, more so an orthopaedic shoe. Although   it may not be the best looking, as it may not have all the adornments of what is considered fashion, it provides loads of comfort and support for those in pain and seeking to improve a condition. This type of shoe is growing more popular as people become aware, and  it is aesthetically pleasing.

To me, it’s more about getting the job done on the inside and behind the scenes than appearance.

If you were going to be marooned on an island, what three things would you take?

As you would not plan to be marooned on an island, I would hope that I have in my possession a mirror (attract attention, create heat, type of security camera too), a pen (to draw a picture of my loved ones somewhere or use as a weapon), and something to snack on . . . . These are always in my bags.

What was the experience like living and studying in Britain?

Tremendous! I enter most situations with an open mind, which helps psych me for either the best or worst. Being in Britain and surrounded by a mixture of cultures, both on campus and in general, was an eye-opener. I had been to England before to visit relatives, but living there was life-changing. I was not based in London, but visited when I could to see family and catch up on tourist attractions and indeed nightlife.

Being one of the few Caribbean black students on the campus served as another part of my learning curve, interacting with and observing the differences in culture from attire to food, to areas of study, personal hygiene, freedom to choose or lack there of, religion and expectations.

Experiencing different types of racism and sexism was too an experience, as we often think of only White on Black racism, but not others such as Black on Black, or Asian on Asian; men from different cultures too thinking that all women are humble and to be spoken down to and objectified . . . . Some quickly learnt otherwise! I formed bonds with ladies from Jamaica, Turkey, Pakistan, England, Thailand and Taiwan; and, of course, I met up with a Bajan!

The unique place of being a student and tourist exposed me to also appreciating Barbados more for not only our lovely climate but how we are as a people. It was a living life of example of situations read about in my undergraduate studies from modes of transportation to health care, social welfare, animal rights, technology, recycling and so on.

The opportunity to travel across Europe to places such as France, and even visit Turkey for a classmate’s wedding, exposed me geographically, religiously, personally, even in terms of what you were allowed to wear and do as women, and educationally. When I returned I was awarded theDavid Thompson Memorial Award for academic achievements.

Did you complete a project or a dissertation for you Master’s, and what was it about?

For the MSc dissertation I focused my lens on “youth participation in decision making in Barbados”, as discourse with peers from other neighbouring islands expressed feelings of tokenism and consultations as opposed to full integration in the decisions that mattered to and affected them most and their futures.

What was discovered here was that the tides were changing and not for the best, as before the youth voice was one that was treasured. It was now acts of tokenism and just a tick-off on . . . checklists that youth were present and asked, but not many instances of in-depth input from truly representative youth voices.

The proposed plans, practical and creative ideas from youth, were either not utilized or were used without giving credit to the great minds and talent who had developed them, creating some social isolation and disenchantment from youth.    

How do you see your MSc in social policy and social research contributing to the development of Barbados?

This field has the potential to bridge several gaps that exist today and hinder our further advancement. I have always advocated for a proper marriage and respect for accurate research and not crumbs of research –– proper evidence based on research with appropriate stakeholder hands-on approaches, published findings and statistics to set the basis for action-driven and results-oriented programmes and policies (with monitoring and evaluation and follow up) which are supposed to help continually assist us.

What is WOW Barbados Beauty And Empowerment?

This initiative was my brainchild in 2012 for International Women’s Day. Through observations and interactions with young females, it was felt that there was diminishing self worth, self-esteem and more emphasis on outer beauty and materialistic features. The World Of Women/Women Of Worth Seminar encompassed sessions on true beauty, women as heroines in everyday life, how to have safe, fun yet sexy sex, simple beauty tips, staying healthy in a hectic life and much more.

The event was well attended and received and special guest speaker was Alison Hinds  As I have young sisters, I want that they grow up with the inner pride and awareness of self; and the possibilities that exist are limitless for women.

You were the Young BPW representative for the Caribbean Sub-Region of North America and Caribbean. What is Young BPW?

The Business And Professional Women’s Club (BPW) develops the professional leadership abilities and voice of women, through mentoring, networks and economic programmes across the world. Young BPW is the youth arm of BPW International for members up to age 35. It seeks to be a bridge, and fosters succession planning of this world-renowned organization that connects women who advocate for equal rights and economic empowerment for women  in different societies and at varying levels.

My role as regional representative serves to connect the BPWs in the Caribbean and foster support as we work towards helping fellow sisters.


For four years you served on the executive of the Barbados Youth Development Council. Based on your experience there, would you encourage other young people to get involved in youth work?

Without a doubt, the BYDC has helped to garner several of my skills, and I encourage young persons from all areas of society to join. Involvement in the BYDC, a voluntary, youth-for-youth group is a strategic platform as the national umbrella for youth. Public speaking and discussions with people from all walks of life and all levels, travel and serving as an ambassador for country, regional awareness and combination of skills hone potential for youth and what they can get done together.

The BYCD agitates for us youth as the leaders not as future leaders, as we went out there and got things done –– be it through preparing communiqués or writing letters, signing petitions or hosting Press conferences. I have met remarkable young people through this organization and formed unimaginable bonds with youth throughout the region who stand for similar things and who face challenges we may not be exposed to –– from child porn to disabilities.   

You currently work in human resources. Has your social science background been beneficial to you in your new role?

Of course! It helps me to understand how individual behaviour is mitigated by wider society.

The role then is to influence change and development by fostering programmes and an atmosphere where team members are encouraged to grow, perform better, make better decisions and create skills while still being productive and addressing the goals of the organization.

The foundations of the social sciences encompass some of my main passions, which are incorporated in this field, including social policy, organizational development, gender relations, conflict resolution, workplace enhancement, discrimination, health care, standards and professional development of this strategic asset which are the staff.

Who has contributed to your success?

My mother, my spouse, adopted family, colleagues within different social organizations and, of course, the Father above, for providing me with the avenues and opportunities, and equipping me with the will and strength.   

Finish this statement: Barbados is an amazing country because . . . .

. . . Of it’s kind and friendly people; the fact that we are well schooled; and due to our great climate and natural beauty.

(Today’s Future is produced by C2J Foundation Inc. in partnership with Barbados TODAY. If you wish to contact any of the professionals being highlighted, please send your request to


The BPW Crisis Hotline & Contact Information

The BPW Crisis Centre continues to offer its 24-Hour Hotline Services to victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault and other forms of Gender-Based Violence. Our Crisis Hotline is an entry point to other interventions and services as we work with the police, medical professionals, social services and others. Both men and women in crisis are encouraged to call us to even just to talk about their frustration, ways to get out of a dangerous situation, report a concern or other help they may need. Persons can call us at 246 435 8222 or reach us on mobile phone at 246-836-5071 or 246-836-5070 or email us at Texts are welcomed. The BPW Crisis Hotline is a project of the Business & Professional Women’s Club of Barbados.BPW Crisis Centre Contact Information