The Heart of a Woman…

“Having a Healthy heart &  Staying Healthy” – by Nicole Alleyne, VP and Chair of Health Committee


“Having a healthy heart, staying healthy” are some of the words that should penetrate and result in change but often it does not until it’s too late. BPW Barbados’ Health Committee recognizes that the signs and symptoms as it relates to heart attacks for women are quite different from those for men. Every day we see the impact of a female affected by a serious health condition and the implications that it has not only on the family, but the organisation, community and nation. There is an urgent need for us as women to pay more attention to the subtle warning signs and act rather than wait until later.
These are just some of the areas covered at the Women and Heart Disease Lecture hosted by BPW Barbados on  July 12th 2014 held at the UWI Open Campus.

As an international women’s empowerment organization BPW  strives to empower women not only through professional development, but through a special focus on health. Heart Disease is the #1 killer in women and with this in mind, we arranged a lecture entitled: “Caribbean Women Live Well Now – Know your Heart” to be delivered by Dr. Kay Goring the lone female Cardiologist in Barbados.

BPW International has signed on to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (, a set of guidelines developed for corporate and government entities to create a more enabling environment for women, promoting women’s economic empowerment. This lecture speaks to Principle #3 which states: “ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of all women and men workers are upheld.” BPW International also has the “Red Belt” initiative which looks at women’s waistlines and its ratio to their height as an indicator of heart disease.

Prior to the start of the lecture; Dr Goring shared with the audience many tips and suggestions, which set the tone for what turned out to be not just an evening of education but frank discussion, honest sharing which resulted in one of the participants publicly deciding to make a life style change.

The audience was fully engaged in the lecture as we participated in a group session, questions were fielded at us provoking much thought and discussion. Opening remarks were given by Gina Pitts, Registered Nurse and CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados, a key partner in this initiative. Dr Goring presented from a holistic approach, stating that by knowing your heart one must incorporate every aspect of self ranging from diet, exercise and more. She noted that all these approaches impact heavily on the quality of life.

Snippets from the lecture:

  1. Know the causes of Heart disease – High blood pressure, stress, poor diet and other factors such as heart break through the loss of a spouse, family member these contributes to heart disease
    2. Solutions – Exercise, a balanced diet, Sex (in a committed relationship)

We now share with you some pictures from the event that captured the essence of what was truly an educationally rewarding evening.

VP Nicole Alleyne (JMT Certified)
Chair of Health Committee Barbados
Member of International Health Committee

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BPW Barbados joins BPW St. Andrew in 40th Anniversary Celebrations

Three Members of BPW Barbados travelled to Jamaica to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of BPW St. Andrew, a sister club in Jamaica.

Dame Maizie Barker-Welch, Jackie Banfield and Young BPW Member Rashida Beckles joined Regional Coordinator Bessie Hironimus in the festivities, which included a candle-lighting ceremony and a series of events. BPW St. Andrew produced a selection of commemorative pieces to mark the event including books and articles depicting the trials, triumph and journeys of the some of the powerful women that have been part of their organisation. BPW Barbados was especially pleased to have Young BPW Member and Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean Rashida Beckles along for the proceedings.

BPW Barbados is proud of BPW St. Andrew’s accomplishments and wishes President Monica McNeil many successes to come.

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Caribbean Women Live Well Now: Know Your Heart

As part of its focus on Women’s Health, BPW Barbados will be hosting a health lecture on Saturday, July 12, 2014, 5 pm at the UWI Open Campus, Pine, St. Michael.

Entitled “Caribbean Women Live Well Now: Know Your Heart”, the session will explore the effects of heart disease in women – the #1 Killer of women. The lecture will be delivered by Dr. Kay Goring, Barbados’ only female Cardiologist.

Coordinator of the event, Nicole Alleyne, who is the Vice President of BPW Barbados and a member of the Standing Health Committee of BPW International, is pleased to offer this free information to the public as part of BPW Barbados’ Health outreach.  Ms. Alleyne implored, “women need to know more about their bodies and the effect that chronic non-communicable diseases can have on their lives. We need to know the signs; we need to understand the hereditary factors and lifestyle that exacerbate cardiovascular disease.” Heart Disease affects the productive woman – the working woman and therefore affect the bottomline of companies, of businesses and ultimately the economy. Therefore there is an urgent need to raise awareness, focus on prevention and advocate on ways to mitigate this condition.

BPW Barbados is pleased to partner with Dr. Kay Goring in this public lecture as BPW takes every opportunity to highlight women in various aspects of business. Dr. Goring received her medical degree from the University of the West Indies’ Faculty of Medical Sciences in 1995 and has been in practice for the past 19 years. She spent part of this time in South Carolina where she completed her training and experience at Howard University in Cardiology.

Her return to Barbados offers additional support to the field of Cardiology and further lends to excellent care in Barbados. She currently operates from her private practice in Belleville St. Michael.

health lecture july 12 revised

Focus on disabled women…

Senator Ifill: Disabled women are neglected


Senator Kerryann Ifill is describing a newly-launched Breakfast Club for girls and women with disabilities as an initiative that would lay a strong foundation for females throughout the country.

The club, which was presented yesterday on the occasion of International Women’s Day, would operate a three-month training programme focusing on empowering females with disabilities to become advocates for similarly affected people.

“Many of our young women with disabilities are neglected, ignored, set aside, not included in the important activities of life,” said Ifill, president of the Barbados Council for the Disabled.

Adding that these women are mostly untrained, she said, “Some of us do not receive the necessary information that we need to make wise decisions…The Breakfast Club which was put together by the Barbados Council for the Disabled in collaboration with the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados is designed to fortify you for the days ahead.”

The programme comprises a series of workshops, run by trainers who will educate participants on aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“At the end of these three months you will leave here strengthened, renewed, and invigorated for all that life is going to throw your way,” Ifill told the participants gathered at Harambee House, head office of the Council.

The concept for the club was introduced by Barbados Council for the Disabled Administrative Project Officer, Rose-Ann Foster-Vaughn, and is a partnership with the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados.

Foster-Vaughn said the idea came from a training programme for women with disabilities she attended in the US.

“Being a participant in this programme has created a burning passion within me to develop a similar programme for women with disabilities here in Barbados, which encourages them to stand up and speak out – strong, loud and passionately,” she said.

Foster-Vaughn explained, “Six skilled facilitators will base their presentations around areas which will address topics reflecting a woman’s personal image, capacity building and leadership skills”.

The participants will be taught empowerment, self-advocacy, the importance of imagery, etiquette and the usefulness of physical activity.”

BPW Supports Women with Disabilities…

BPW Barbados is proud to have partnered with the Barbados Disability Council to host the “Breakfast Club”, an empowerment programme for women with disabilities. Overseen by Vice President of BPW Barbados Nicole Alleyne, BPW Barbados was honoured to support training and education in sexual and reproductive health, human rights, aspects of gender-based violence, finance, personal development and more. BPW Barbados looks forward to future partnerships with the Barbados Disability Council.

Women with disabilities complete training

by George Alleyne

The office of UN Women will soon be working with an organisation of women with disabilities in Barbados to further female leadership in communities.

Representative for UN Women in Barbados, Christine Arab, this morning announced the collaboration during her address at the ‘Culmination of the Breakfast Club’, a graduation ceremony for 12 women with disabilities, who were trained over 10 weeks on issues relating to empowerment.

“My agency deals with gender, quality and women’s improvement. . .We’re trying to do much more at the community level to have discussions with young people, larger discussions about the dynamics that results in violence,” Arab explained at the NUPW, Horatio Cooke Auditorium.

She added, “It is part of our objectives and one of the reasons why I came today. We would like to work with women from the disabled community to be part of that conversation, to bring a particular perspective to the conversation and to be leaders in the conversation at a community level…we’re talking parish levels”.

Co-sponsored by the Barbados Council for the Disabled and the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados, the Breakfast Club was launched on International Women’s Day, 2014.

The participants went through training on ‘being a self-advocate’; ‘importance of personal imagery/etiquette’; and ‘getting pumped’ through physical activity routines.

BCD vice-president, Roger Vaughan, presents a certificate to a Breakfast Club graduate at this morning ceremony.


Additionally, they participated in an awareness course on women’s rights, and another on sexual reproduction health.

“In the Caribbean whenever we talk about women being disadvantaged, there will always be someone who immediately says, ‘what about men?’,” Arab said, but contended, “This is not about putting women ahead of men. This is the simple statistical fact that in your country girls outperform boys in school, but they underperform boys in economic earning, labour activity. They are more likely to be poor, they are more likely to head large households that are poor”.

“And women with disabilities have two times likelihood of unemployment than men with disabilities. So even when people are facing disabilities, women with disabilities often face two-fold.”

“And we would like to do much more with women who are facing challenges, if [it is] because they are disabled, and want to know what those particular challenges are,” the UN official said further.


Girl Power Korea!

Girl Power Korea!

Well done to our members Alison Hinds and Celia Collymore!
They had the opportunity to participate as Speakers and Global Leaders in the BPW Korea Global Mentorship Program during the 2014 BPW International Congress. They were alongside a diverse group of women and professionals to mentor and inspire about 100 high school and middle school girls from across Jeju Island through. This was a collaboration between Girl Power and Jeju Business and Professional Women (BPW), Korea Club. BPW is an international organization with the mission of providing guidance to empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community. Girl Power is a volunteer organization that promotes professional development for female students in South Korea, started by two Fulbright teachers in Jeju-si, Ginger Whitesell and Vika Safarian.

Each speaker had five mintes to motivate and inspire along the theme of dream discovery and career development. Shortly thereafter the program transitioned into small group mentoring sessions and activities to assist students in identifying obstacles to their dreams and ways to overcome them. Our members had a wonderful time sharing and making a difference!

2014 BPW International Congress Kicks Off!

2014 BPW International Congress Kick Off!

TEAM…Together Everyone Achieves More

Today was the official start of the BPW International Congress in Jeju, South Korea!
What a privilege it was to be in a room full of women from all walks of life, different knowledge, skills and abilities who traveled in numbers to attend this convention all in the name of “Empowered Women Leading Business from the top, at all levels in the community!” This is an amazing opportunity to celebrate progress, exchange knowledge, experience, and work together and take action to making the world a better and much more inclusive place to live.

Our highlight for the evening was the performance of our very own Barbadian artist Mrs. Alison Hinds aka “The Caribbean Queen”, who performed one of her hits “Ladies Rule” at the opening and awards ceremony. Not only is she an honorary member of BPW Barbados, but also the Goodwill Ambassador for BPW International!
In that moment we were all so very proud to be Barbadian aka Bajan, to see that we are taking out talents, skills, messages,hopes and dreams and injecting them into new cultures. The response from participants was very invigorating and to see how much they enjoyed, appreciated and accepted soca music was memorable. I am sure many may not have understood the words, but it was Alison’s vocals, the rhythms and beats that got them up dancing and yearning for more!

One thing President Freda Miriklis said during her speech that rings home is, “When women are well, fit and healthy our families, communities, workplaces and nations do better”. She also quoted Victor Hugo who said, “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come” and further stated, “that idea… is that the economic empowerment of women can be the engine to transform economies across the world.

We finished the evening with a bang at the President’s Reception! Fantastic tasting Korean food, fun, networking, more of Alison Hinds music, dancing and tons of selfies! Our Barbadian contingent/BPW members definitely represented our flag well!

Four more days of love, listening, learning and lessons. Stay tuned!

Ladies Rule –

Touring Experience- BPW International, Jeju, South Korea

Touring Experience- BPW International, Jeju, South Korea

The BPW (Business and Professional Women) International Pre-Congress Tour was a seamless, very interesting and uplifting experience. BPW members got the opportunity to visit and support Women-owned/run businesses of Jeju. The tour guides and representatives made presentations, shared historical background of each business, gave demonstrations and we too had the chance to learn and practice some techniques.

Here is an overview of the businesses we visited:
AeSuhWon Sister Heights- Facility for Single Moms and Their Babies
AeSuhWon Sister Heights provides shelter, medical care and counseling for young mothers and mothers-to-be. Their main aim is to empower these mothers by facilitating job training and placement, as well as classes to meet educational requirements. We got a tour of the facility and met some of the mothers and their babies.

Mongsengee – Jeju Traditional Dyeing Experience
Mungsengee is a Jeju tradition using persimmons to dye Jeju clothes made of cotton, linen and silk. We got to participate in the dyeing process/experience and learnt first hand how this art is perfected.

Hansupul Haenyeo School- Traditional Free-diving Women
The Haenyeo school is a traditional diving school aimed at preserving the haenyeo (women divers) lineage and to act as a tourist attraction.
We experienced the Haenyeo firsthand. Many of us observed, while other participants swam with the haenyeo as they harvested crustaceans, sea cucumbers and octopi, and served to participants. Most of these women were over their 50s and are strong and fit!

Jejuyo Ceramic Culture Museum
This is the only traditional pot place in Jeju where ceramics acquire their distinctive look from the fact that the island’s soil is rich with volcanic ash. Unlike other pottery, Jeju earthenware is sleek, glossy and artistic.

While on tour, it was refreshing to meet, learn about and share with a diverse group of women from countries such as Egypt, Nigeria, Spain, The Netherlands, USA. We all had varying and some similar backgrounds, talents and skills, with the common denominator being passion. There was so much energy, lots of fun and many selfies!

The official kick off of Congress is tomorrow with a week filled with educational sessions, empowerment workshops, receptions, entertainment and plenty of networking. Stay tuned!

Island of Women – Jeju, South Korea

Island of Women - Jeju, South Korea Our team made it safely to Jeju and have adjusted nicely to the time difference.

Congress starts in two days and we spent our first day touring and exploring this unique island by foot. We arrived at Jungmun Beach, which is the most popular beach and surfing attraction in South Jeju. It was a refreshing day, perfect temperature, nice summery breeze filled with history, sights-to-see and basking in the sun on this beautiful island. Our walk was a nice stroll up, down and around the Jungmun Complex which is spread along a coastline of cliffs, beaches and traversing rocks. One moment you are strolling across the shoreline, checking out the local vendors, and then stumbling upon swanky hotel grounds the next. A wonderful experience and definitely an area to revisit and take in more of what it has to offer.

Stay tuned!


BPW Barbados going to Jeju Island, South Korea in May!

Video produced by R3 Productions, Barbados

BPW Barbados is a proud participant of the 28th International Congress of Business and Professional Women on the beautiful island of Jeju, South Korea, May 23-27th 2014.

New International Goodwill Ambassador Alison Hinds Hinds will join the Barbadian contingent as a speaker and a performer at the Congress. Alison will be presenting in the “Media and Gender Equality Workshop”  and “Single Mother’s Empowerment” along with her several performances and outreach activities in Korean schools. Alison will launch a Barbadian written and produced theme song for BPW International!

Other speakers include International ICT Consultant Annalee Babb will be a speaker in the Corporate Governance and Leadership Plenary. BPW Barbados will be hosting a 2 hour Gender Based Violence Seminar among other conference activities, joining a impressive list of high level speakers from around the world. BPW St. Kitts will join the Barbados team in South Korea to host a Dine Around at the Woman Diver Restaurant or Haenyeo Restaurant where Caribbean culture will be on display.

BPW Barbados is excited about the 28th International Congress in South Korea!

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