On March 8, we celebrated the contribution of women all over the world with International Women’s Day. This is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
Our friends in Haiti answered that call in a unique way. Twelve young women, ages 13-19, from the villages of Terre Blanche, Dubedou, Finel and Anse-Rouge, were invited to take part in Jen Fanm Lide Kominote – Community Leadership Training. These young women were selected by the pastors and deacons of their local churches.
This Community Leadership Training was led by Dr. Marck-Edwidge Jadotte (doctor at the Clinic of Hope), Pastor Wilson Joseph (youth president for all four churches), Elissaint Rubain (deacon at Dubedou), Marguerite Pierre (nurse midwife at the Clinic of Hope), Veronikas Pierre (head nurse at the Clinic of Hope).
Those leading the program spoke about the importance of this training: “In our ever-changing times, as we move from the information age to the knowledge age and face serious economic and social challenges, political conflicts and other complex issues, women and children still belong to the most vulnerable categories of societies, especially in remote areas of large cities. This is especially true for teenage girls. Helping young girls see themselves as leaders and encouraging them to take part in their society helps them build strong self-esteem and learn life-changing skills for themselves and those they interact with.”
The topics of the day included:
- Becoming a Woman After God’s Heart
- Who Can Be a Leader?
- Gender Violence and Sexual Exploitation
- Self-esteem, Menstrual Hygiene and Community Engagement
The leaders and participants took part in many different methods of learning including interactive group work, debating and sharing different viewpoints, brainstorming, and facilitation.
The young women were so happy to have this training and have asked for more of these programs.
HFH is grateful for the team of adults who recognize the vital and important work of discipling these young women. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate International Women’s Day and I look forward to seeing what God will do in and through these young women.
By Katie Thom, HFH Board President