Finding A Safe Space

Women continue to make a positive social impact in various spheres.

The non-profit organisation Women of Substance celebrated its fifth anniversary on March 24th. In addition, the NGO is advancing its services through a brand-new space called Shangri-La, located in Lowlands.

Shangri-La is a safe space where women can come in and they can get away from their abusive environment. If they want to come in and drink a cup of coffee or tea and read a book, come on in, we welcome you. If they want to receive counselling, Shangri-La is here. We are here to serve,” Founder of Women of Substance Onika Mars said.

Mars said the counselling offered is confidential with an online option for persons who cannot physically visit.

We will have counsellors and psychologists available during the evening. These are professionals who are volunteering their time to serve women. We will also offer virtual counselling, because we have access to some counsellors from the Coalition Against Domestic Violence.”

Secretary for the Division of Health, Wellness and Social Protection Dr. Faith B.Yisrael attended the event in support of the NGO.

I want to say thank you because your work is making my work so much easier,” she said.

The NGO was a recipient of $100,000 from the Digicel Foundation, who helped fund the project. They also received a donation of furniture from the United States Embassy in Port of Spain, and additional funds from RBC Royal Bank.

To contact Shangri-La for more information, call 496-1937 or 485-9534

Founder of Women of Substance, Onika Mars, right, and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, Port of Spain, Megan Kelly (March 10, 2022).
Shangri-La creates a safe space for women.
Shangri-La is furnished with amenities such as a computer area.