The Haiti Adolescent Girls Network's "Espas Pa Mwen" clubs help stimulate girls' entrepreneurship, increase their economic security and help break the cycle of poverty through training and seed funding for micro-enterprises. This pilot project is helping 32 poor girls between the ages of 14 and 20 start their own eco-friendly cooking businesses not only by providing them with training, but also with cost-effective non-polluting solar cookstoves.
Haiti faces many challenges including extreme poverty and environmental degradation. After decades of cutting trees for wood and charcoal, Haiti's charcoal dependency has contributed to severe deforestation leading to devastating flash floods that claim lives and homes. Using charcoal for cooking also puts people at greater risk of getting sick from household pollution. This project contributes to protecting Haiti's environment and provides income opportunities for poor girls.
The project launches in Solino, a destitute community built on the steep hillsides of eastern Port-au-Prince where girls are most at risk of early pregnancy, early marriage and engaging in sex work. Thirty-two marginalized girls will learn to make popular snacks using environmentally friendly solar cookstoves, and start their own eco-friendly cooking businesses to earn revenue to improve their lives and that of their families.
The project will give 32 marginalized girls the opportunity to learn a trade, develop financial literacy skills, improve their health and that of their families, and receive vital information about their health and rights so they can become agents of change in their community.