We had a fabulous time at this catalytic event for girls!

SJYM hosted a BRAVE event on Saturday May 25. It was a high-energy morning of music, speakers and activities that pumped up 120 participants and their supporters. The dynamic Danielle Strickland, one of the founders of BraveGlobal, was a key speaker.

BraveGlobal seeks to combat sex trafficking by flooding girls aged 12 and up with messages of love, hope, value and strength. The sex trafficking of teenage girls is a growing problem in every socio-economic sector in our city and country. The statistics and stories are sobering and so SJYM decided to support BraveGlobal’s launch in Canada by hosting its first Canadian event.

Kerry Chevreau (left) of Brave Canada and a key organizer of the event, with friends.

So much to do

Doors opened at 9 am and guests arrived in a space bursting with pink balloons and bling. Activity stations welcomed girls to get a manicure, create their own sugar scrub or have their hair and make-up done. They could make bracelets or bookmarks to inspire others, and make their own memories by taking selfies or leaving their mark on a signature board.

The program rocked the sanctuary: music, dancing and a line-up of special guests that included Canadian artist Jully Black. Panelists’ personal stories of victimization and empowerment were especially powerful. Around noon, guests returned to the activity space for ice-cream sundaes and raffle draws. Every girl went home with swag bag that included a BRAVE journal.

Bookmarks with encouraging messages will be sent to girls at Sandy Bay Junior Primary School in Jamaica, which SJYM supports in other ways as well.

So rewarding

I was one of many volunteers coming from SJYM and all over the city. The event inspired us so much and it was very rewarding to see the big smiles on the girls’ faces. If this day touched even one of them, inspiring her to change her life, then all the time and effort that went into this event was worth it. A big thank-you to all the volunteers who made this day possible. I’m so proud that SJYM could be a part of this important work.

Some of our BRAVE volunteers. I’m third from left!

Suzanne Sutherland, Deputy Churchwarden