Meleesa Natasha Payne is a young woman with an extraordinary story of her life and love for Charitable causes. A triple threat, ' her bevy of talents also includes Fashion Design - a skill taught by her seamstress mother, however, the renowned model's ultimate passion is in her footwork (Dancing). She says "I could not live without it." It also seems that the industry wouldn't be as lively without her. She has won dance shows throughout Guyana, and won best talent in numerous shows. The Classique company dancer tours the Caribbean and the United States Of America with her group yearly.
Payne's pageant experiences include her first win the Miss Fantasy Talent International in 2000, 1st runner up the Miss Guyana Talented Teen,1st runner up Miss Guyana African Heritage 2004, Miss Ecstasy held in the BVI 2005, 3 runner up, best talent Miss Caribbean World, Tortola BVI 2006, winner Miss Jaycees Caribbean Queen 2006 Antigua, winner Miss Guyana Universe 2007, 1st runner up Miss Carival 2008 St Vincent. Winner Miss Tropical Paradise 2009 Jamaica, winner Miss Model International 2010 St Marten.
Despite her love for dance, it was modelling that brought her popularity in Guyana and give her a louder voice to sound her beliefs and the importances of charity. With her image plastered across billboards and various magazines, Meleesa Payne is arguably the most popular and recognised model in Guyana. She is surprisingly humble, focused and insightful about the complexities of the industry.
The 5, 10 model has ripped catwalks from the USA to Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and Guyana was educated at New Campbellville Secondary School, Chritchlow Labour College (Industrial Relations and Social Studies) and Carnegie School of Home Economics and Professional Studies. (Cosmetology).
Balancing her dream, while making a living, Meleesa Payne ensures she has a safety net. A lesson learned from one of her role models- Supermodel Iman. "I love Iman" says Payne, who was inspired by the iconic and pioneering model's stance to work only once her agency agreed to pay for her education. "I always encourage young people to stay focused and know the importance of education plan b as she calls it."
Meleesa's Personal drive and ambition does not override her sense of community and collective responsibility, a lesson taught through her mother's selfless acts of caring for the less fortunate.
This humility has guided her in creating Beacon of Hope,(bringing smiles to tomorrow's children) a charitable organisation aimed at helping underprivileged children.
For years Meleesa's mother has been helping adults and children who live on the streets and volunteering at the senior citizens home in an attempt to better their lives and bring smiles to their faces. "She says" Payne later formed her organisation BOH focusing on finding orphanages and drop in houses, as she felt it dangerous for children just living on the streets where they can easily fall victim to sexual and physical abuse. " I feel that each has the right to grow, be happy, healthy and educated."
Since 2000, BOH has provided children around Guyana with the essentials such as food and some amount of medical attention, as well as constructive activities that are close to Meleesa Payne's heart, such as dance, design and drama classes.
In her own way, it seems as if she is preparing Guyana for the next generation of artistic leaders. Meleeesa Payne has also been involved in a number of charitable organisations. She expresses her feeling that everyone needs, love, support and a helping hand to lighten the load of life's hardship. Meleesa is an advocate for the ever prevalent Domestic Violence, Cancer, Diabetes, Healthy living and HIV. It seems like Payne will never fade , because her newest venture will just be one more place we can find this extraordinary talent.
My Human rights causes are mainly focused on the rights of a child and Youth empowerment. The next Anti Domestic Violence.
I believe every child has the right to a safe and loving home a standard education, food, clothing, medical attention and the absolute right to dream of becoming a successful and respected individual in society. It is a must that we provide a healthy lifestyle for our children, ensuring a sense of belonging.
Children fall victim to many dangers due to neglect, rejection and false love. I believe with the right moral standards enforced through communication from parents, guardians, teachers and adults we can mold them into responsible and positive leaders. It is the right of a child to live life to the fullest enjoying the pleasures of being a child. It is our duty to protect, guide and support God's precious little ones.
Youth empowerment; here it is important that we make a special effort to educate our young people about the many challenges, temptations and dangers they are most likely to encounter during this adolescent period. I strongly believe that the effectiveness of negative influential behaviour; popularly known as peer pressure is what is responsible for the destruction and miss leading of our youths. I believe it is important for young people to also feel a sense of belong but with the confidence of knowing the choice is positive. Also to know its ok to stand out, being different isn't a bad thing. I encourage youths to be the trend not follow it.
Anti Domestic Violence. This is a growing problem around the world, harming everyone, domestic violence does not only effect the person being abused it effects loved ones. Its time to change the way we see each other. God created us humans with hearts that should be filled of love, peace and a mind of understanding. Let's take time to find different ways to fix situations we disagree on. U want to hit something get registered at a boxing class, play cricket, ruby, find a contact sport it helps. It is on us to be responsible role models to our children, abuse in front of a children can harm the thinking of that child and can result in that child being a victim of domestic abuse or the abuser. It is estimated that one out of every four women and out of every twenty men in my country have experienced, is experiencing or will experience an act of domestic violence. Many have died by the hands of the ones they once loved. There are ways of helping the abused and abusers. Let's take a stand let's fight to end domestic violence.
My team and I are working to accomplish positive results in these areas of concern. The Beacon of Hope under the guidance and involvement of the Guyana Model Search committee, Ministry of Health, the USA Ambassador and the Ministry of Human Services. We hope to be given the opportunity of sharing awareness and seeking help that will improve the lives of everyone involved.
our main aim is for positive change. We have started this by reaching out to schools around Guyana, at Fashion shows, Pageants, sports and wherever youths are we are on TV and Radio from time to time. And we plan many fundraisers for children with needing expensive surgeries and other causes.
Listed here are some of the charitable work I have done and am involved in.
At the age of 15 in the year 2000 my mom advise me to form a charitable organisation for underprivileged children we reached out mainly to street children ensuring that once a month they were provided for with a meal and clothing as time progressed I founded the Beacon of hope in 2004 bringing smiles to tomorrows children. same with my mom I then expanded my involvement and reached out to orphanages and try to find homes for the street children through the ministry of education and government of Guyana. I won the miss Jaycess Caribbean and immediately used the voice to be an advocate for the rights of a child and to work as a builder for habitat for humanity for the people earning low income building projects of which I obtained a certificate in the year 2007. After being Crowned miss Guyana Universe in 2007 I got involved in the task of developing the lives of young people through performing arts and skill training, In 2007 I was awarded a certificate of appreciation for my significant contributions to our country and made an honorary member of the JCI Guyana. In 2005 I was on the flood relief team where everyday we took food to houses and people affected by the flood. I became an advocate of diabetics awareness, HIV awareness and cancer awareness in 2008 going into schools through the ministry of health and the Guyana Fashion weekend talking to youths about the dangers at workshops for adults and conferences. In 2008 I won the most community spirited trophy the only trophy at the Miss Carival pageant. In 2010 I donated to the children of the mexico hospital. children who I had meet while in mexico in 2007 where I received a teddy bear given by to me by one of the children as an act of gratitude. Every year I donate school supplies, food and some amount of medical attention to underprivileged children. - Along with the team from the international vision sounds and the government of Guyana planned a concert for the benefit after the earthquake in Haiti. Last year I along with my team Kept fashion shows for little Zen who needed money for a brain surgery. its sad to state that her little heart was too weak and she died before the doctors could conduct surgery. I took on the task this year as I worked as a junior Trainer on the Guyana Model Search of talking out against domestic violence of which the government and US ambassador have also taken as their cause. I volunteer at the Guyana Georgetown Public Hospital from time to time. I teach dance at the Sophia special school and the Children of the drop in center under Miss Pamella Dillon of Simply Royal. I took up the task of reaching out to anyone in need and have always been involved in charity. I was the youngest woman to be honoured and featured for my outstanding contributions to charitable causes on the 2006 First Look Guyana Show.
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