Sunday April 13th was a day of shared joy and pain, a celebration of lives and achievements and the ability to endure abuse and suffering; and to overcome through strength and determination. But most of all it was about Sisterhood. The CPTC’s (Creative Production & Training Centre) studios were host to a live ‘Mediathon’ entitled “Sisters to Sisters”, under the International Women’s Day theme “Financing for Gender Equality.” Sponsored by the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports (MICYS), the objective was to raise funds for the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation and establishment of a shelter being built by the Bureau for Women’s Affairs for battered women, with a target of raising JA$10 million.
There was an amazing presence of successful women of all professions, both participating and in attendance. Amongst these remarkable women lending their valuable time and talents were, The Hon. Olivia “Babsy” Grange (Minister of Information, Culture & Sport), who’s to be thanked and commended for hosting and taking part in pioneering such a worthy event. Former Minister of Tourism Hon. Aloun N’dombet-Assamba, was one of many to share her personal experiences of abuse with viewers. Additional names include Leonie Forbes, Denise Hunt, Jenny Jenny, Denise “Isis” Miller, and other media personalities. A truly regal selection of female performers, many of whom provided not only entertainment but helped take calls live on air, included: Nadine Sutherland, Carlene Davis, Queen Ifrica, Cherine Anderson, Alaine, Etana and D’Angel. One of the many highlights was Lady G performing a combination, very symbolic of sisterhood, along with Marcia Griffiths. It is hoped that the sisterhood experienced at “Sisters to Sisters” can continue on and reflect in the industry from this day forward.
Many participants were required to make this event happen and there was an awesome turnout of industry people who provided logistical support. Phone lines were setup to handle the vast amount of calls received and the pledges were numerous. Companies took notice of “Sisters to Sisters” and gave generously. Grace Foods pledged $1,000,000 and Mr Anthony Abrahams from News Talk 93FM pledged $500,000 and $1,000,000 in advertising to the cause. In addition to corporate pledges musicians Carol Gonzales, Cherine Anderson and even Nelly Furtado, who has often been affiliated with Jamaican music and culture, made pledges. Many children called into the studios excited to take part and made pledges of whatever they could spare, $500 or even $100 contributions, because every little bit helps, and every single donation counts. The fact that the younger generation was so happy to take part was further testimony to the success of the event overall.
After six hours of live performances, interviews and coverage on CVM and TVJ, as well as other cable and internet TV stations including Negril TV, it was estimated that $6.5 million of the $10 million target had been raised! However, it is not over yet. For anyone wishing to pledge, there is still time to make your contributions to this extremely worthy cause. The deadline to reach the targeted goal of $10 million is May 30, 2008.