The 2017-2018 Carnival Queens alongside Mrs. Haiti International Judith Leger, VOICES Foundation President Nkosazana Illis and Posh Productions founder and CEO Anna Rabess-Richardson.
PHILIPSBURG–Posh Productions welcomed Mrs. Haiti International Judith “Judy” Leger to an intimate discussion on her platform “Domestic Violence” last Friday at Carl and Son’s Lounge in Philipsburg.
“Mrs. Leger, Mrs. Haiti International 2017-2018, reached out through mutual parties and advised that she was coming to St. Maarten and would like an opportunity to meet with the reigning Queens and/or any young ladies who are a part of Posh programmes.
“I decided to create the opportunity for the Queens and those aspiring to compete for the 2018 crowns to meet a Queen who will be competing on an international level,” explained Posh Productions founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anna Rabess-Richardson.
Special guest speaker for the evening was VOICES Foundation founder and President Nkosazana Esther Illis whose Foundation’s name is an acronym for Victory Over Injustice Consciously Eliminating Silence.
The dynamic but intimate evening left all in attendance touched, empowered and inspired. Topics discussed during the evening were the Mrs. International Pageant competition and Mrs. Haiti’s back story of domestic violence.
Leger said during the evening, “Whether or not you have a crown, Queens pull each other up, that’s what a Queen does.”
Illis added, “You are a queen from your heart first. Domestic Violence is still something that is a taboo in St. Maarten and the Caribbean and throughout the world. We should always speak out against domestic violence. ‘Use your voice, and save a life.’ Let us bring awareness to the people in our community and the world at large.”
“My job is to educate women on the signs. It starts with the mental abuse, and I want to bring more awareness to it. No one talks about it. I feel it’s my job to be the voice of those who have passed on from domestic violence,” added Leger.
“Nkosazana brought the energy and knowledge of positive healing, how proper healing begins with acknowledgement, forgiving oneself first then others. It was extremely enlightening,” said Rabess-Richardson.
Leger said, “It was so intimate, I felt like I knew each of you for years. The Queens even taught me something about myself: I learned that I dug deep to heal myself. They gave me hope and welcomed me with an open heart and mind. I feel refreshed to know I have made new lifelong friends.”
Mature Carnival Queen 2017-2018 Michelline Hunte said she had learned that “God always has a plan for your life. Sometimes we question our lives but everything has its purpose. You may not find that out today or tomorrow, but eventually we all will. This evening taught me that with my reign anything is possible through God and to fight for what you believe in. Never give up.”
“At the end of the meet-and-greet, between listening to her journey, her healing process and how she uses her experience to motivate others to rise above their fears and take their lives back, she encourages them to speak out and get out, and that left me in a state of amazement,” said Rabess-Richardson.
Leger’s life story also touched reigning Carnival Teen Queen Shakainah Arrindell-Pompier. “What touched me was that she was brave enough to come out and speak about her past to us on how she overcame it. In my eyes she’s a conqueror. I’m very happy that she is able to touch the lives of others. Even though I never went through domestic violence, she made me look at my life in a whole other perspective and I would also like to touch the hearts of many,” she said.
“The importance of this event is for the Queens (present and future) to understand that pageantry is about being a philanthropist! You must have the community at heart. You must have a platform that you will work hard to make a difference in your community with. That’s the key takeaway,” said Rabess-Richardson.
The stories, knowledge, experiences and advice shared during this special event are in alignment with Posh Productions’ mission and vision, which is to promote philanthropy through strong community-based services and to foster good-will ambassadors by encouraging individual growth, personal platforms and community involvement.
“I would like to thank Carl and Son’s Lounge for their partial sponsorship, Lydia’s Flower Shop for her bouquet gift, TelEm and St. Maarten Tourist Bureau for their tokens of appreciation to Mrs. Haiti International and Nkosazana Esther Ellis for joining on behalf of VOICES Foundation.
“Thanks to my Posh members for their continued support and dedication and Kenty Lichtenberg, St. Maarten’s blogger, for coming out to meet Mrs. Haiti International and for her upcoming publication in Kerai Kreative Style,” concluded Rabess-Richardson.