NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – A group of young professional women on Nevis are being lauded for launching a non-profit resource centre for underprivileged women to provide free legal advice and other forms of support.
During the launch ceremony held on March 07, 2022, the eve of International Women’s Day, Hon. Hazel Brandy Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), praised the women for the timely initiative.
“Sis Inc, I am indeed very proud of those persons who would have found it possible to come up with this idea, an excellent idea at a time like this when we need this sort of assistance and this sort of sisterhood. One of the things that we have seen raising it’s ugly head is the level of domestic violence that is growing rampant in our country…and there is little or no assistance for the victims, women and girls, especially for those who do not have the financial resources, and so I am indeed happy that as one of the services you are rendering to our women and girls is [advice about] legal representation,” she said.
The minister also commended the organization for providing mentorship for young women, including those seeking employment, applying to colleges or applying for scholarships.
“Our girls need persons who they can emulate. Some are from troubled homes and so to have somebody to mentor them as to how they ought to live and lead productive lives is necessary.”
Attorney Hon. Cleone Stapleton Simmonds, Opposition Member in the Nevis Island Assembly, also congratulated the founding members of Sis Inc for coming forward to assist the vulnerable group.
“As a legal practitioner, from where I sit I encounter and engage with many women who are suffering and facing many challenges which often require legal and expert advice, and of course we all know that legal advice is very costly, and so I am indeed very grateful to Sis Inc, that a group of young women who have partnered to form this organisation that would provide pro bono services to women and young girls who are in need.
“You are serving some of the most vulnerable persons in our society and the services that you are offering will not only empower them but it will also build their self-confidence. It will provide them with the opportunity that they so need to deal with very difficult situations. I see the tears and frustration so I believe that Sis Inc would provide that avenue where women can feel comfortable in situations where they are seeking advice or mere information.”
Mrs. Stapleton Simmonds added that the coaching services being offered would provide that expert guidance young persons need to promote and sell themselves.
Ms. Althea Campbell, Legal Counsel at the Legal Department of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), is one of the Directors of Sis Inc. She said the organization was envisioned as a vehicle to help women in need access services and support they may not otherwise be able to source or afford.
“Today is not just the launch of another organization. It is the commencement of a mission; a mission to serve the women in our community in a tangible way.
“Our goals are simple- every underprivileged woman in Nevis should be able to obtain legal advice for free, all year round; every girl in Nevis should be able to access guidance on how to apply to university or how to apply for a scholarship to fund her studies; any woman in Nevis interested in a certain career should able to access guidance on how to get there; and every female in Nevis should know that they have a judgment-free zone to which they can turn for help with a full complement of services ranging from completing those should-be-simple forms to the serious business of selling yourself through a job application letter. We believe that, the magic of our sisterhood is the simplicity of our goals. These goals were not developed arbitrarily. They were shaped by our own experiences as women where, at one point or another, we have wanted one or all of the very service that Sis Inc will now offer,” she said.
The other directors of the organisation are Ms. Jahnel Nisbett and Ms. Careve Williams, while other professional women will serve as Members and Associate Mentors.
Ms. Campbell noted that in the initial stages Sis Inc will operate virtually and can be accessed via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 665-7788; Instagram: sisinc.skn, and Facebook: Sis Inc.