Capacity building consultancy brings hope to Women's Media Watch Jamaica

From left to right, Joseph Patterson (WACC), Marcia Moria Skervin (WMW Board Chair), Michele Golding Hylton (WMW) and Ruth Howard (WMW). Lunch meeting. Photo: Contributed

“We want WMW to continue!” Those few words by WACC representative, Joseph Patterson, pumped well-needed fuel into Women's Media Watch, a WACC corporate member approaching 30 years of service in Jamaica, the Caribbean, North America and South Africa. WMW is a highly respected NGO firmly established in the women’s movement and the gender justice landscape in Jamaica, but our capacity shrank over the years even as the magnitude of our work did not. 

The thing I admire most about WMW Jamaica is the fact that we do not quit. Our commitment to the cause and unwavering faith in the relevance and necessity of our work is the glue that has held us together, and allowed WMW to weather three decades of change. 

Our team of staff and volunteers, powered by international donors like WACC and UN Women, has really withstood the test of time. But we had reached a crossroad. That’s why this capacity building consultancy with WACC’s representative, Joseph Patterson, was so warmly welcomed and enthusiastically pursued.

The participants in the November 7-9th consultancy had much to say about how it impacted them and WMW Jamaica:

“Thank you WACC for your visit! You listened, affirmed and gave us solid advice about using the strength of our experience; strengthening our management structure, engaging young women and building more partnerships – locally and internationally. We receive the challenge to reclaim our focus – gender-based violence and the links with media communications. Thanks - for the hope of sustainability without change of our non-profit service-oriented status; and for the reminder that Jamaica and the world needs us.”
—Patricia Donald Phillips (Chair, WMW Jamaica Steering Committee)

“The discussion with the WACC representative gives one a sense of hope and a possible light in the tunnel. It allowed me as an individual to take a more focused look at my contribution to the organization and my role to facilitate changes. It allows me to see the organization in a different light and not to be bogged down just carrying out a task, but to look and act upon other methods of deliverables so that changes can occur to attract younger persons to the organisation and, at the same time, document the history of the organisation to cement and underline its relevance to women’s development issues. The partnership with WACC would be a great strategic move for WMW Jamaica.”
—Michelle Golding Hylton

“With great anticipation and renewed hope, I welcomed the meeting with WACC representative Joseph Patterson. WMW is an organization with over 25 years of experience in gender and media issues. However, like any organisation, for sustainability to be maintained, members must re-look and rethink and re-strategize the vision…I must say, I was excited by the prospect of the new energy the meeting with WACC represented. I left the meeting refreshed and recommitted to a fundamental cause that drew me into the organisation initially and that was being the voice for the voiceless women and having a representation through media for women. It seems 2017 will be yielding exciting times!”
Marcia Skervin, Chairperson, Director WMW and HR Consultant and Motivational Speaker, Connect Your Dots

“Joseph Patterson, Financial Controller of WACC Global, was like inhaling a breath of fresh air.  For some time now WMW has been struggling to keep its doors open, given the harsh economic tides and the continuous reduction of funding available to CSOs in Jamaica…With limited technical skills and support, the group has been struggling to brainstorm and fine-tune creative ways to boost sustainability.  Ideas such as developing service packages that could generate much needed funds to support the administrative and programmatic functions of the organization has been on the agenda. However, the group lacked clarity on the best practical way in which to do so. Mr. Patterson’s visit to Jamaica and by extension his extended invitation to meet with the team was a timely divine intervention.” 
Keishagay Jackson, Former Office Manager/Administrator/Member

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