Meet Michele Irving of Dangriga, Southern Belize
She’s a fierce warrior on a mission to save the world one woman at a time, and Barefoot Rentals and Services is proud to name her personality of the month.
In case you’re looking for a role model, we would like to introduce you to Michele Irving of Dangriga, Southern Belize. “As long as I can remember, I’ve been on a personal mission to make a positive contribution towards Belize’s progress,” she freely admits. “The reason? I feel an enormous love for my people. It’s that simple.”
How many women have you met whose unselfish devotion to country is seen in every action taken to make the world a better place? “I describe myself as a fearless, feminist, fighter for freedom, and that just covers the “F” words!” says Michele. “I’m devoted to gender equality and both girl’s and women’s rights.”
As a result of her activism, Michele came to the attention of Barefoot Rentals and Services. Management was so impressed by her drive, commitment and passion, they couldn’t wait to name her personality of the month. Michele’s human rights efforts are not just commendable but critical as she pursues life-saving solutions that further Belize’s GBV and HIV-prevention initiatives.
As a founder of POWA in 2003, Michele’s efforts to promote principles of respect, human rights and gender equity are unprecedented. She works hard to help combat stigmas attached to many people outside the mainstream and her efforts to help stop violence against women and promoting women’s reproductive rights are near legendary.
“If I had to name one issue I’m most worried about, it would be violence. GBV has become an acceptable social norm, yet it’s not talked about openly. At the organizational level, I plan projects and programs aimed at addressing this topic head-on so both perpetrators and victims recognize their behaviors. I try to help others create a new normal. My mantra? End Violence Against Women and Girls; End Violence!”
Does Michele eat, sleep and live her mission 24/7? Ask friends and co-workers and they will likely say yes, which is exactly why Barefoot Rentals and Services staff is proud to have an opportunity to share her story of unselfish commitment and unabashed courage. She is as much a Belize treasure as are the ancient Maya ruins and the barrier reef.
Despite the honorific bestowed upon her by Barefoot when she was named personality of the month, Michele is refreshingly honest and extremely humble. Though she travels the world spreading the word about equality and non-violence, she admits that the best part of every journey is coming home to the country she loves!