Transforming Haiti through the empowerment and advocacy of women
Describe the need affecting community
There is a need to provide holistic, long-term and sustainable solutions to poverty alleviation in rural communities in Haiti. Rural communities experience an even greater disparity in economic opportunities, public and private infrastructure, education beyond high school, and health services. They are more impacted by superstition, stigmas, and discrimination. Girls and women bear the brunt of the confluence of these harsh living conditions and societal attitudes. This is evidenced through lower literacy rates, fewer women with higher education, lower economic standing, mortality during childbirth, violence against women and perceptions of women’s worth to name a few. The good news is that studies bear out that empowering women with access to the resources they need will not only improve the life situation of the individual, but will positively impact their families and extend into the community. Leveraging women can change the trajectory of a family and even beyond. We have a need to act to provide resources in the rural setting and empower women for the betterment of all. Haiti needs local leadership who can inspire creative solutions and manage with excellence. Haiti needs entrepreneurs to build businesses that create jobs. These needs are applicable in the community of Musac de LaVallee Jacmel, where HAPI works, and beyond if any solutions are to be locally sustainable over the long haul and BREAK THE CYCLE OF CHARITY AND DEPENDENCY!! Perhaps, that is Haiti’s greatest need in which HAPI in the mountains of Musac plays our small part, leveraging the ability of women to lift themselves and their families out of poverty: self-governance and economic independence.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
HAPI will continue to grow our initiatives in economic development, not only for HAPI artisans. Also supplying the knowledge, and encouragement for micro or small business owners. In direct job creation to trades-persons and guest services. Our health services are expanding to include dental and more lab but our ‘specialization’ remains maternal care for healthy moms, healthy babies. In addition to the obvious benefits, there is also an economic advantage to locally accessible care and prevention of serious complications or even death. We are improving our classrooms with more technology and with hiring an IT person who can then help us to develop more advanced offerings. We want to prepare young people, especially young women, with 21st century skills that can make them more employable and to provide that education close to home. Which will encourage greater attendance. Longer term, we desire to offer a business curriculum (and we have other options under consideration, ie medical tech). We are still struggling to overcome issues with affordable, consistent and sufficient bandwidth to deliver online training to hold costs down and bring in contemporary instruction. Our Peace Pals program continues to instill in children the need for respect, equality, hope for a better future, and healthy conflict resolution skills: Life-lessons that can carry forward into their adult lives and decisions. HAPI weaves our faith perspective into the principles and values upon which we operate, how we treat people regardless of gender or economic status, in the sharing of our facility with a congregation. Also in our espousing our desire to be proactive and co-creators in ‘bringing the kingdom of God to earth’. ALL of this provides more opportunity and drives the need to develop local leadership in many arenas. We are not exclusive to women but we are intentional in empowering women. (I am the most self-critical!! We have come a long way but SO MUCH MORE that can be done!!)
Describe the primary goal of the project
Transform Haiti through the empowerment and advocacy of women.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
Break the cycle of poverty. Reduce maternal and infant mortality. Change the trajectory of individuals, families and the community -particularly women/girls.
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