Between foot massages and aromatherapy, some 60 women absorbed more than information Saturday at the second Women’s Health and Wealth Empowerment Conference at Holy Family Catholic Church.
Host Jamila Harris made it clear that pampering was the order of the day to start off with, along with a healthy breakfast.
Physical therapist Jerry Smith reviewed ways to recognize and relieve stress. The audience chorused “amen” as Smith listed things we do to make our lives more stressful.
“Life is easy. People make it hard. Just relax,” Smith reminded his listeners.
Simone Letang, a medical equipment supplier, spoke extensively about Virgin Islanders’ concerns with cost as they consider their medical needs. “People are scared to say, ‘I don’t know. I need help,’” Letang noted.
Attorney Richard Bourne-Vanneck taught listeners methods for managing taxes and health care in order to get the most out of their money. Sisters Cheryl Boynes-Jackson and Joanna Boynes spoke about their family’s shipping business. The two women shared stories of 24 hour work days and dedication among loved ones to create a business that would not only benefit the family, but the community.
In order to balance the stress of managing a business and a healthy lifestyle, Boynes-Jackson wakes up at 3 a.m. daily simply to take a walk. “It’s not perfect, but we survive that way.”
Harris, organizer of the conference, reminded her audience of the importance of fostering our children’s health along with our own.
“Do we want our future generations to be fuel for the prison system or operators of industry?”
The final speaker, self-published author Janelle Benjamin, concentrated her presentation on personal goals. She stressed the importance of setting small goals for one’s self and slowly meeting one after the other to achieve an ultimate objective.
The audience applauded as the conference came to a close with a song by Gwenevere Creque-Rojas and a final farewell from MC Allison Bourne-Vanneck. As listeners stood to leave, Letang’s words echoed in one woman’s voice: “It’s our island. We can do it. One day at a time.”