The Women of Global Change held their international summit 2017 in Jamaica.
This annual gathering of like-minded servant leaders is designed to be a meeting of the minds and hearts of masters. The vision of Dame Shellie Hunt, this summit combines a variety of activities and topics in an environment that fosters growing, sharing, learning, giving and establishing lasting relationships for ourselves, our businesses, our communities, and the world at large. The business networking and opportunity for lasting connections that benefit all involved is ground-breaking at every WGC summit and event.
This particular summit also featured, once more, the WGC Youth Leadership initiative, led by Ms. Cheyenne Hunt. Therefore, this summit impacted the lives of our members’ children directly, as well as that of many Jamaican children.
As is tradition with WGC, every summit and every chapter imitative includes a service project. In Jamaica that meant going to a local elementary school, which has been serving it neighborhood for many years, and helping it to meet the required standards and avoiding a shut-down.
The summit participants, including the children, worked hard for hours to paint chairs, take out old tiles, build a separation wall between a classroom and the cafeteria entrance, painting those walls, put new tiles onto the floor, and leave messages on the wall for the children at the Santoy Basic School.
Following one day of hands-on service with direct, visible impact – to which our partner in Jamaica expressed his and the neighborhoods’ deep appreciation by pointing out that they may get donations from time to time but that someone coming and doing the work is something never experienced and deeply respected – the participants gathered on their second day of service for a different task. This task designed, as well, to show the power of a group of people, a group of leaders who come together for a single cause and commit to making it happen. As a group they had decided to donate all funds raised to elementary schools and the elementary school kids in Jamaica going farther than the buildings and including school uniforms, lunches, and more.
The participants raised over USD $10,000 in 4 hours, which is about J$ 1.3 million.
A symbolic check was handed to our contact in Jamaica, Mr. Clive Gordon who also provides school tours for those interested. He shared his disbelief and deep gratitude for what the summit participants had done, by coming together and “flying in unison.” This second day of service included the summit participants’ children who supported the effort and created visuals for this long-lasting impact. Just this week Mr. Gordon receive the check that will help 12 schools in Jamaica and thereby impact numerous lives.
Clearly, all participants were impacted once more this year, as we all come together in the chapters and in the summit to share, learn, grow, give and serve. Our children also served understanding fully the need to serve in their own ways and being fully committed to “giving back” wherever they can, including in their own businesses.
Indeed, all members of the Youth Leadership Initiative did develop their own projects during this summit – and participated in all sessions they chose to be present for – and shared their projects at the end of the summit. With their presentations they highlighted a deep inner knowing of the significance of giving back as every single project included this component. Our children are now completing their projects with the help of the summit participants and beyond, expanding their impact beyond Jamaica, beyond the summit, beyond what people often think children are capable of.
Having barely returned from the 2017 annual international summit The Women of Global Change are already planning the 2018 summit, which will take us to Europe where we will visit Italy, France and Spain.