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Young Women/Men of Purpose (YWOP/YMOP) is a registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which provides moral support, mentorship and guidance to young women and men between the ages 13 and 25 years in the Parish of Manchester and St Elizabeth, Jamaica. The foundation is open to young women and men who seek advice in selecting their career path and need guidance as to the steps to take to achieve it; and also young women and men who face challenges in their daily lives and require moral support to overcome these challenges. Each mentee is paired with a mentor who is a young professional who offers career mentorship and guidance through regular contact with mentees. The organization also hosts fortnightly sessions for mentees every second Tuesdays and last Saturdays of each month. Sessions are centered on career and personal development themes and are usually executed by experts within the field. The volunteers of YWOP/YMOP actively contribute to the growth and development of young people within the Parish of Manchester, by conducting various self-esteem and self-development workshops in several Primary and High Schools across the Parish. The organization is currently a UN-Habitat Urban Youth Fund Grantee to execute the Youth Entrepreneurship Project (YEP), which seeks to train at least 50 youths in Entrepreneurship and assist them with starting their businesses.
To provide effective and efficient mentorship and guidance to youths who face challenges in their daily lives.
To ensure that youths have full access to the opportunities and resources provided by local and international organizations
To provide professional assistance to youths in selecting their career paths and outlining the steps required to achieve them.
To act as a confidante to youths who seek trustworthy individuals to share with.
To seek financial assistance from governmental and non-governmental organizations for youths who are less fortunate.
To enlighten youths about the power that lies within them in an effort to raise their self-esteem, through personal development workshops.
Young Women/Men of Purpose (YWOP/YMOP) was conceptualized by founder Lanisia Rhoden as her Community Service Project after winning the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Miss Manchester Festival Queen Competition in May 2009. The project was launched on June 30th 2009 as Young Women of Purpose (YWOP), a programme providing career mentorship and guidance to young women between the ages of 16 and 25 years, to help them choose and achieve their career goals and to provide support to assist them to overcome challenges faced in their daily lives.
The inspiration for YWOP came while Lanisia was instructing a group of Front Office Agents Level II students at Junction Vocational Training Centre in St. Elizabeth for a six months programme. Throughout the six months period a bonding relationship emerged and Lanisia was hit with the reality that young people, especially women faced tremendous challenges in their daily lives. Her eyes were widely opened to the fact that there are numerous young women who experience abuse, both physically and verbally from spouse, parents and other family members; there are those who feel alone and as though they are not loved and no one cares; those who find it difficult to trust others and simply need someone to talk to, someone to lend a listening ear; and those who need help in choosing a career and guidance as to the steps to take to achieve their goals. Lanisia acted as a mentor, a counsellor, a sister, a friend to these students throughout their tenure, but even until today, the relationship with some has still continued.
YWOP started out with five volunteers and eight mentees, and grew way beyond the expectations of the founder. Instead of ending the project after her tenure as Festival Queen came to an end, the organization expanded to include males, creating Young Men of Purpose (YMOP) and later became a registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in 2010 under the name Young Women/Men of Purpose (YWOP/YMOP) with over 50 members collectively and extending the age range to serve young women and men between the ages 13 and 25 years.