Jamaeja Evans, 11, hosts her “Princess Pamper Party”.
By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
JAMAEJA Evans is an 11-year-old girl who has a big heart for helping others, especially children like herself and those who have been bullied. It is this "heart of gold", as her mother Richenda Hamilton calls it, which inspired her to host the "Princess Pamper Party" geared toward uplifting young girls.
With the help of her family, Jamaeja organised the special event last Saturday under the umbrella of a newly formed group called My Sister's Keeper. It featured a pampering and pep talk session held at the Carmichael Road Community Centre.
Richenda said her daughter was inspired to host the party after witnessing the negative interactions amongst the girls at her school.
"She came one day complaining about how she noticed the girls in her school were so cruel to one another and there were many that were being treated as outcasts because they didn't have self-confidence," Richenda told Tribune Woman.
"She was sad about the way they were being treated. So I asked her what she wanted to do about it. She asked me the question, 'Can one child make a difference?' And said that if she had a group or club named My Sister's Keeper where girls could get together and help each other gain self-confidence, that would be a great start. So we put our ideas together and she came up with the Princess Pamper Party where they can do fun girly things that will help them boost their confidence. And she wanted me to help her find confident women that can encourage them. My Sister's Keeper has much in store for the little princesses."
During the event, the 48 participants heard from various speakers who gave words of wisdom to the girls.
LaDonya Pratt, director of the Earthen Vessels dance group, compared the process of taking a good photo to navigating through life, urging the girls "to focus, always take the shot, develop the image and share the beauty with the world."
Tyronda Knowles-Glinton, director of the Little Miss and Junior Miss Regency pageants, spoke about poise, etiquette and grooming.
Tara Evans, of the Pan American Development Foundation (Women's Initiative for Non-Violence and Development) Project, spoke about the different types of abuse that affects girls, such as sexual, physical, digital and verbal abuse.
After the speakers made their presentations, it was time for pampering, and the girls enjoyed getting their toes painted, socialising, and interacting with the title holders form the Miss Regency pageant.
Jamaeja is head girl at First Step Academy and an honour roll student who loves attending church, baking and learning things on the internet. She also loves having her toes done as a form of relaxation and having "girl talk" with friends and cousins.
Richenda said she is often taken aback by the ideas that Jamaeja comes up with and the fact that she has such an empathetic heart.
"I am so proud not only of her accomplishments but her outlook on life. She is not a normal 11-year-old and she doesn't even try to be. Even though she also sometimes battles with her confidence from time to time, I always encourage her to believe in herself and pay no attention to what people say negatively about her; to be true to who she is. Her heart is so pure and she teaches me daily about compassion and empathy for others. Her father and I, we try our best to support her efforts, because they come from a very sincere place," she said.