A Day in the life of Sheila, staff member of YWCA Haiti
By Sussane Furler - Programme Coordinator
Sheila is 31 years old and administrative assistant since 2011. In 2017 she has also taken over responsibility for the 9 mentors working in the centre, with whom she regularly works out the teaching topics.
Sheila tells us about a regular day of work at the center:
"I leave the house at 7:40 a.m. and take the shared taxi to the office of YWCA Haiti in Pétion Ville. As soon as I arrive at the office, I spread out my documents and devote myself to my administrative tasks until the girls arrive at the centre. I look forward to their arrival every day at 1 pm. They are my greatest motivation. The girls always come directly ty desk and enter their names in the reception book. They often tell me how they are, what moves them and what they are concerned about before they sit down at their table with the mentors to do homework or take part in workshops. I make sure they are well, especially when they arrive with worries to the centre, what I don't like to see at all. I am always there for the girls and it fills me with great pride how positively they evolve when they are with us. Every day at 5 pm, when they leave the centre, the girls come back to me to say goodbye. I know that the girls are safe in the center and I hope every day that they will come back the next day healthy and unharmed".
YWCA Haiti was founded in 2008 and is committed with 4 employees and 9 mentors to the education and health of girls and young women from the slums of Port-au-Prince
For young Colombians it is particularly difficult to start their careers. On the one hand, only a few can afford to study. On the other hand, they are particularly affected by unemployment. With the "Paza La Paz" programme, Horyzon and YMCA Colombia are therefore supporting young people in finding employment.
Anyul from Ciudad Bolívar, a poor district in the south of the capital Bogotá, underwent training in entrepreneurship in the Horyzon programme. She learned how to turn business ideas into a functioning small business with the help of a business plan. Her idea of acting as an animator at children's birthday parties and similar events met with great approval in the neighbourhood. Thanks to a small start-up capital, she was able to buy costumes and other materials.
Now Anyul makes the children in Ciudad Bolívar laugh and earns just enough to pay the tuition fees.
Every year around 1,500 young people take part in the "Paza La Paz" programme and around 10,000 people benefit indirectly from the programme. The Horyzon programme helps young people from the poorest backgrounds to find new life perspectives. The trained youth leaders independently carry out projects against violence, drugs and corruption.
Education of girls in Haiti - Cristelle tells her story
By Sue Furler - Program coordinator Haiti
Cristelle at the YWCA Haiti Center
Christelle is 21 years old. She lives in a poor neighbourhood near the YWCA center and has been attending YWCA Haiti's Horyzon programme for 8 years. Before that, she felt she didn't exist at all and believed she was worthless because she was a girl. Only at YWCA Haiti did she understand that she also has rights.
In the workshops on self-esteem, she learned to believe in herself and that as a girl she can achieve anything. Cristelle has also become a better student thanks to the after school turorial at the center. Before she was teased because she often missed out on school. Today she is much more self-confident, can stand up for herself and has a big goal: she wants to become an office computer scientist and is currently learning for the last year of high school. She hopes that there will be more centers like YWCA Haiti, so that more girls will experience the same positive change as she did.
YWCA Haiti's programme reaches more than 400 girls and young women from the slums of Port-au-Prince every year.
In addition to tutoring, the girls also receive professional psychological support. They are trained in human rights, sexual violence, health, environment, ethics and self-respect.
Cristelle at the YWCA Haiti Center
Cristelle and her friends at the YWCA Haiti center