International Women’s Day is an annual, global celebration which issues a strong call-to-action to press forward on gender equality initiatives and the empowerment of women globally.
Haitian women, particularly those in rural areas who are part of local Women's Federations, are doing lots of amazing things to better their communities and to break the cycle of poverty.
Rayjon partners with them to support adult literacy, microcredit, health, and training programs—empowering beneficiaries to better support their families, advocate for their rights, and achieve gender equality.
In February 2019 violent protests and political unrest weakened an already fragile state. Rayjon had planned to send a team of 10 Canadians to Haiti in early March to celebrate International Women's Day in solidarity with Haitian women and our organizational partners in Haiti. Unfortunately, with the violence, road blockades and shutdown of nearly all essential services in Haiti, this trip has had to be cancelled. We won't cancel our commitment to stand alongside Haitian women.
While it remains to be seen how the current government will respond to the accusations and demonstrations, and what will happen in the coming weeks, what we do know already is that there is now a heightened need among the most vulnerable. There are widespread fuel, food, and water shortages and families fear to leave their homes because of the violence. We are committed to ensuring that all Rayjon-supported programs (inc. health care, education, capacity building) not only continue but actually empower Haitian women to take positive action in their communities.
WE STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR HAITIAN SISTERS, PARTNERS AND FRIENDS.
It is our hope that grand celebrations for International Women's Day in Haiti will be able to proceed, drawing widespread attention to both the issues faced by, and the extraordinary work in progress by women in Haiti.
Funds raised will:
- prevent interruptions to vital services (i.e. treatment of malnutrition for children in Cap Haitian)
- improve access to literacy classes, additional training in leadership, business and finances
- expand the microcredit program (which has a 100% repayment rate!) to allow more of their friends and neighbours to develop their potential and self-sufficiency
- Support seven chapters of rural Haitian Women’s Federations in meeting their goals in 2019-2021