2023 Closing Report: Restore a Sense of I Can  

Soroptimist International (SI) is proud to announce the continued success of its project partnership with ‘Restore a Sense of I Can’ (RSC) aimed at educating, empowering, and enabling women and girls in the Caribbean. Originally a project funded by the SI Presidents Appeal for 2021-2023, this initiative now thrives under the stewardship of Soroptimist International Foundation, extending its impact into 2024. 

The project, which focuses on addressing the gender digital divide, aims to provide training and resources to women and girls in Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuelan migrant women. The participants will be trained on the basic use of digital technology, including how to navigate and stay safe in online spaces, to become creators and not just users of digital spaces. By bridging the digital divide, the project will continue to empower participants to make better decisions, gain self-confidence, and develop critical thinking skills, ultimately breaking down socio-economic barriers hindering women’s access to digital opportunities. 

Throughout the implementation of this project throughout 2023, the journey of empowering participants to transition into trainers has been marked by dedication, collaboration, and continuous growth along with its fair share of challenges. The selected women, with diverse backgrounds and varying confidence levels, have embraced their roles and the possibilities that go with it.  

As we look forward to the future of SI’s partnership with RSC and the powerful contributions this offers toward empowering women and girls around the world, this article offers a brief reflection on the project’s objectives and outcomes at the close of 2023. 

Training the trainers – Project Update 

One strategic objective within the project involves training a minimum of five program participants as trainers. These trainers, selected from the pool of participants, play vital roles as assistant instructors, peer mentors, motivational speakers, workshop facilitators, resource ambassadors, tech support contacts, group project facilitators, and feedback collectors. Through this comprehensive approach to long term project sustainability, participants not only acquire new digital skills but also gain invaluable experience in teaching and supporting others. 

The journey to identify and train these trainers wasn’t without its challenges. Fear and apprehension, particularly related to self-confidence and public speaking, initially hindered participants’ willingness to take on these roles. Recognising these barriers, the project organisers conducted personalised discussions and provided ongoing support to bolster participants’ confidence and capabilities. 

Eventually, five women were selected and underwent comprehensive training to prepare them for their roles. Starting as assistants in tech support sessions, they gradually progressed to leading topical teaching sessions and facilitating group projects. RSC provided them with a detailed teacher manual to guide their activities, ensuring a structured approach to the learning process. 

Our Long-Term Commitment  

The success of this initiative goes beyond the acquisition of technical skills; it lies in the creation of a supportive community where each participant’s unique strengths contribute to the overall success of the program. As these women continue to grow and gain experience, they are not only positioned to translate their skills into income-generating opportunities but also to pay it forward, creating a ripple effect of positive change in their communities. 

As the project continues under the SI Foundation, there is a renewed commitment to the growth and success of these women, reinforcing the belief that education and empowerment are catalysts for transformative change. The SI Foundation expresses its sincere hope that these women will continue to thrive, paving the way for improved financial well-being and lasting impact in their communities. 




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