“Some may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one” – John Lennon
Chara Clarke is the Founder and Project Coordinator of GLOW. She has been married to Les for 16 years who is a fireman. Chara is frequently asked if he has been in calendars but he has… not. They have two children, Jackson who is 12 and Cassia who is 10. Chara has obtained a Level 3 & Level 5 certificate in Life Coaching. She also has a Level 5 certificate in Leadership & Management which she completed in 2016. Her heart for women and girls is apparent through her 10 years of volunteer experience within the local church. She has held leadership roles within women’s ministry and is highly respected for her love of people.
In 2008 a group of women started to do social events to bring women from the Shankill and Falls communities together. During these events Chara recognised these women had low self esteem issues and other mental health problems that seem to lead them further into isolation. This sparked something in Chara to help these women! As a result, our unique women’s programme came to be developed with the help of a few others.
GLOW became a registered charity in 2011 and was operated strictly on a volunteer basis. It wasn’t until 2015 that Chara became paid staff. As the programme developed and more people heard the testimonies, GLOW experienced a snowball effect and funders began to support the project.
“I want to reach as many women and young girls as possible to help them discover who they are.”
There are a lot of organizations that aim to educate people on mental health but GLOW helps each individual. They go through the programme in a group setting where they make lifelong friendships and get to know others outside of their community. Most of the women say that they would have never interacted with the other community if it wasn’t for GLOW. We provide opportunities such as mentoring and peer support which also cultivates those lifelong friendships.
Through feedback from the women who have come through our programmes they often said they wish they had something like this when they were younger. These comments sparked a new project idea in Chara to create an early intervention & personal development programme for young girls. The LILY programme allows young girls aged 10-17 to see other life opportunities than what has been modeled for them by their surroundings. We encourage their strengths and help them discover their potential.
“My dream is to see GLOW become a national organization.”
Here at Glow we help women and girls discover their true identity and purpose to live a happy and fulfilled life. We are so excited to share with you tips from our programmes and encouragement to help you enjoy each day. Stay tuned every other week for a new blog post!
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