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!
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 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06wDYrcjJJY
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!
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.
BPW Barbados supports the Purple Tear Drop Campaign of Soroptimist International of Barbados