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To date, WGI has 50 participants who received scholarship support since 2011 for primary and secondary school. In 2016, four beneficiaries began their university course of study, in nursing, teaching  and engineering.  The rest of the group is successfully enrolled in school and receiving   the complimentary package of aid (weekly workshop, retreat, access to trusted advisers).

Since 2014, WGI has supported 8 families with micro-finance loans and technical assistance. The businesses are still running, and some of the families have  repaid portion of the loans, which   were then redistributed. The strategy for expansion for this initiative is to develop a fund and a grant  application process, which will strengthen the financial and business literacy to include all  the parents. We hope to create a community of small entrepreneurs.

The strategy to expand our education program starts with building partnership between public and private institutions in order to recruit vulnerable girls. In 2017, WGI has identified three schools that have adequate caliber from which to select the new cohort of beneficiaries. We aim to add 50 participants per year.

For summer 2018, a 10 days weeks Girls Leadership Summer Academy for a period of 4 years will be added for high school girls to better prepare for college acceptance. The vision is within five years to form a cohort of 200 young women in their twenties who are ready to step into leadership roles and shape legal and political infrastructure in Haiti.

Haiti Summer

July 2017

62 girls from Port-au-Prince and the South of Haiti, a rural region typically unreached by community outreach efforts, participated.

The Women and Girls Initiative (WGI) in association with its Haitian sister organization PAGEDEV (Partnership for Gender Equity and Development) held the fourth annual summer leadership
retreat in Aquin from July 16th to July 21st 2017. 

The retreat fused leadership training with psychosocial healing in relations to natural disasters, specifically surrounding the 2010 earthquake and the more recent 2016 hurricane Matthew. The retreat was designed with sessions and activities to address post-disaster trauma affecting teenage girls’ lives. Sessions and activities ranged from interactive presentations to active listening, visual arts and crafts activities. Group activities deliberately mixed girls from the different regions represented, which offered opportunities to learn from each other and break down stereotypes about rural versus urban realities.

The girls laughed and cried together, expressed themselves without judgment, shared life changing insights and, most importantly, were true to themselves. They left the retreat feeling liberated but also equipped with knowledge and tools they could apply to difficult situations affecting their lives.

Click here to learn more about their journey.