Barbados: Hazel Magdalene King

Women spreading bridges of peace, solidarity and fraternity contributes to reaching the supreme values of justice.

— Hazel Magdalene King

She raised her two children alone and took care of her mother while enduring her husband's abuses. When she was laid off from a restaurant in Bridgetown, Barbados, she understood that her hands could work miracles. Hazel Magdalene King lifted up a flag: self-employment for self-sufficiency. She invited other women, taught them how to make cake icing and handicraft. She underwent radical breast cancer surgery, but she did not stop. She has never stopped. Hazel inspires other women in the Service for the Support for Cancer.

Hazel Magdalene King was born in Barbados, in 1939. For many years, she was victim of abuse in her marriage, until she gained courage and ended the relationship. In 1988, she was laid off from a restaurant in Bridgetown. She was alone in front to her two children when she looked at her hands and thought: “It's time to use my skills of cake icing and handicraft to make a living.” She understood that the best thing would be to share these experiences with other women who, as her, did not have help. Soon her desire became reality. In 1988, she founded, in the kitchen of her own house, Hazel's School of Arts and Crafts. In the following year, her small home was not big enough for all her students. She wanted to become self-sufficient and she achieved it; she trained many women so that they could also become self-sufficient. But there was another love in Hazel's life: the Church. She is a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She has had several responsibilities at a local level, including the distribution of food and clothes to needy people. She is President of the missionary department and, three years ago, she took on the challenge of developing missionary work in Haiti. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995. The radical surgery was applied in the same year. She uses her experience to inspire and encourage other women in the Service for Support for Cancer.

Hazel's School of Arts and Crafts