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Thursday 22 February 2018

Ghenere Heerah Woman of Elegance

Ghenere Heerah’s passion for women’s empowerment has been shaped by past experiences, introspection, and humbling realisations. She is the founder of Women of Elegance (womenofelegance12@gmail.com), an organisation that initially started as an event in November 2015. The purpose of the first event was to motivate women on their quest for selfworth.

“This first event was inspiring and the feedback was tremendous,” says Ghenere of what she thought would be a one-time-only occurrence.

The response from this event was so great that she has since organised and hosted two events.

“God wanted us to expand to be consistent with multiple events, speaking engagements, counseling, motivational sessions, blogs, and apparel; women are to be reminded of their worth,” she says, highlighting that faith is a driving force of her organisation’s mission.

“Women of Elegance was birthed on the vision that it takes a healed heart to relate to a broken heart, helping and motivating women to understand their worth and who they are, with their foundation being Jesus Christ.” She continues, “Looking around in my personal life, I realised there were decisions that women and myself make that are sometimes not positive. The consequences of these decisions contribute to us questioning our worth and cause us to think that we are not in a position to represent or stand out and make a bold difference anymore.” However, it was the realisation that despite these decisions and life paths that she was still worthy enough to represent God and be an example for others that she felt encouraged to empower women everywhere, to help them revisit their worthiness and integrity, and lead them towards “the plan God [has] for their life”.

Ghenere also proposes that Women of Elegance is different than other women’s empowerment movements as it does not only concentrate on one area of empowerment, such as gender equality, feminism, or domestic issues, but also on a woman’s full identity and her personal foundations in life. “We believe that once a woman finds her worth, then her attitude, approach, and application changes in a holistic way affecting her entire life.” Her past three events have all focused on such empowerment. Titled Knowing Your Worth, Purified Beauty, and Royalty, these events have featured guest speakers such as media personality Golda Lee Bruce, former Miss World and Public Affairs and Communications Manager Giselle Laronde West, and entertainer Denise Plummer among others.

“Every event has a title and every title draws on a life lesson. This life lesson then affords me an opportunity to reach out and share with other women.” Her next event, to take place October 1 at Green Meadows, Santa Cruz, will be themed Purposeful Woman. “First, we want women to understand it does not matter how we came to be, what matters is who created us to be; knowing who we are is the beginning of knowing where we are going,” she expands on the event’s subject. She points out that in today’s society, women are at a marked disadvantage in terms of crime, socioeconomic standing, and abuse.

“When a woman goes through a season in her life where her purpose or destiny may have been threatened, the emotional creature that she is sometimes goes into a cocoon and takes a long time to transform,” Ghenere says of what Purposeful Women will address.

The mission of the event, she says, is to share real life experiences and stories with attendees of the journey the guest speakers have been on. Her guest speakers for this event are Debra Jean Baptiste and Sharon Oliver.

“This [sharing of experiences] is needed in our society because once women understand their purpose they will soon be able to allow God to complete what He has started. This will in turn impact their families and lead to impacting our nation,” she shares of her hope for women attending the event.

The core values of Women in Elegance events are to engage women in life changing experiences, maintain a standard of elegance, and seeking comfort in a firm foundation in Christ.

“We envision a world where all women, regardless of position in life, understand that their worth is tied to their identity in Christ,” Ghenere says.

The organisation also stands behind the five components of women’s empowerment: women’s sense of selfworth, their right to have and determine their choices, their right to have access to opportunities and resources, their right to have the power to control their lives, and their ability to influence the direction of social change to create a more just social and economic order.

In the future, she hopes to host events outside of Trinidad to expand her organisation’s mission regionally. Her sixth event will be held in Tobago, and she has already made connections with regional organisations in Guyana, Jamaica, and Barbados ahead of her 2018 event goals.

Her final words are those of encouragement and a reminder to women that they are not alone. “As young as I am, I learn from other women and their experiences.

“Remember your worth and remember it’s an everyday challenge to accomplish and maintain your image and integrity.

Do not give up because our life is not our own. I encourage all women: do not forget your women of elegance smile.”


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