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CIBC FirstCaribbean Sponsors The Dignified Girl Project
By Serena Williams
Feb 28, 2018 - 12:11:15 AM

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CIBC FirstCaribbean was honoured to be the first financial sponsor to jump on board “The Dignified Girl Project.” L to R: Phillipa Dean, founder of “The Dignified Girl Project,” and Keturah Thompson, CIBC FirstCaribbean Sales Specialist at the Mall at Marathon branch.

Nassau, Bahamas - A volunteer with the Bahamas Crisis Centre, Phillipa Dean, was so moved by learning of the struggle of many of the women attendees to afford undergarments for their daughters, that she started a new volunteer group called “The Dignified Girl Project.” Now the program is preparing for their next quarterly distribution cycle.

“The Dignified Girl Project provides young girls ages six to 17 with new undergarments, free of charge and without discrimination. The initial response the program got was overwhelming,” said Dean. “When I first heard about the need I was taken aback - ‘Is that a real issue? Are women really having trouble buying new undergarments for their daughters regularly?’ The feedback confirmed that the need is out there.  People welcomed the project, so we decided to expand.

“The original idea was simply to provide new panties and bras every three months. However, we became aware that these young women also need personal hygiene products like deodorant, sanitary napkins, toothpaste and toothbrushes. I thought it was an excellent idea to have a complete package, so for our second distribution cycle our ‘official’ care package contained undergarments as well as hygiene products. It’s because of CIBC FirstCaribbean – our very first financial sponsor – that we’re able to create these personal care packages.”

“The Dignified Girl Project” allocates the parcels to official distribution centres.

“We want to be a resource provider to organizations, like the Bahamas Crisis Centre and Girl Guides, that already work with young women, because they know the girls, the communities, and where the needs are. They can apply to us to become a distribution center, and every quarter they will receive a set inventory. Then they’re responsible for identifying girls in their program or within the community where they operate and distributing those packages accordingly. I think we will reach more young girls that way, and it’s our long-term goal to be able to touch at least three other family islands with the program as well.”

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director Marie Rodland-Allen said: “The Dignified Girl Project resonates with us. We know that personal hygiene and clean clothes help to boost self-esteem.”

Dean expressed hope for the future of the project. “We’re looking to establish it for the long run.  We have volunteers, but what we need is more sponsorship. It doesn’t have to be financial. If you want to distribute cases of content for the care packages, you have that option as well. You can donate a case of deodorant, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, toothbrushes… all of it is welcome.

“I want to encourage potential sponsors out there listening to contribute in any way they see fit. If they have a passion or this cause excites them – jump on board and partner with us.”

Look for “The Dignified Girl Project” on Facebook or use this link: https://www.facebook.com/The-Dignified-Girl-Project-113984875937345/

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