Lakeyia Joseph: We should all be treated with love, respect, and equality
By Andrea Louis
Lakeyia Joseph of Bense has found a way to do it all and has no intention of stopping any time soon.
At a mere 22 years of age, she is a founder, ambassador, philanthropist, volunteer, advocate and businesswoman. She considers herself to be very humble, one who has experienced the lowest lows and can therefore relate to others who have similar experiences.
This young lady holds Dominican youth close to her heart as she has first-hand experience of the struggles they encounter. As Lakeyia told The Sun: "I have dedicated my life to being a voice, a shoulder, and a helping hand for the youth who need it the most".
She has put her talents to use and is having an impact on those who need a hand to make that necessary step forward in life.
"I have been setting up libraries and creative thinking centres, donating electronics, providing school supplies, and scholarships, hosting training and career-building programmes," Joseph said.
Her passion for youth empowerment doesn't lie solely in academics, she also actively raises funds for sports and agricultural advancements.
Lakeyia has made it a point of duty to advocate for women's rights. She was given the title "Champion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment – Dominica, 2017" by the High Commissioner of Canada in Barbados.
"A lot of women go through abuse, hardship, and discrimination and they simply need someone to stand in the gap to lobby on their behalf and give them a fair chance at the life they rightfully deserve," Joseph said.
Lakeyia, however, is not satisfied with the ongoing movement to empower women and is of the view more can be done.
"Women need to have safe spaces to speak freely about what they are going through," she said. "Without having to feel like their perpetrators will harm them. There needs to be some form of legality at the highest level to ensure that women are protected against these harms in the first place".
Joseph encourages the public to embrace gender equality and would like to see women be given their fair chance to work, raise children, and build their lives at their own paces.
"I see no reason why any gender should look up at or down on the other. We should all be able to live comfortably with each other, treated fairly despite our gender and have equal opportunity in all walks of life… we should all be treated with love, respect, and equality," she said.
It is her life's work to help different demographics in society. She founded "Golden Opportunities", co-founded "Youth with a Vision", and has been involved in "Queen's Young Leader" and several other organizations. "These organizations have been the backbone of the person that I have evolved into. They have been the basis of all my endeavours, the awards I have received and most importantly, the lives I have helped to change," she said.
Lakeyia has found time to add entrepreneurship to her schedule and became the proud owner of "Nature Blends" in 2020 when she returned home mid-studies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is in pursuit of two bachelor's degrees in agricultural economics and extension and business operations.
According to Lakeyia, "I've always been an entrepreneur at heart, always been a hustler and always been a risk-taker and here we are today."
Nature Blends currently produces two special oil mixes, one for hair and skin, the other for muscles and joints used for pains, massages, etc. Presently Nature Blends produces turmeric and moringa powders and extracts, virgin and traditional coconut oil, refined and unrefined castor oil, and more.
Lakeyia continually gives thanks to God for His many blessings and is forever grateful to her family, friends and supporters. In the near future, she plans to obtain two bachelor's degrees and solidify Nature Blends in Dominica.