Building Independence: Teaching Young Women How To Reclaim Their Power In Trinidad and Tobago


A restorative space, the St. Jude’s Home for Girls has long served as a refuge for girls within the state care system in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Home houses mainly adolescent girls who have either been appointed by the Family Court due to disputes at home ranging from sexual abuse to being “beyond control.” Some of the girls are on remand with pending court matters.

Many have had to stop schooling and receive counselling for trauma, depression and other related conditions. Most do not have full certificates of education, placing them at a disadvantage within the system. At age 18, they must leave St. Jude’s, many with no place to live. This sets them back as they often resort to making poor choices by entering abusive and dangerous situations in order to survive.

In partnership with the Spotlight Initiative, The Cleopatra Borel Foundation, through The NiNa Young Women’s Leadership Programme is working with girls from St. Jude’s to help them develop life skills along with entrepreneurial capacities to equip them to explore other options when they leave the home.