Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti

by Beyond Borders
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti
Your generosity makes her girls club possible!
Your generosity makes her girls club possible!

You Are Building a Movement to Prevent Violence Against Women & Girls With Disabilities

Thank you for your faithful support for Beyond Borders’ ‘Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti’ project on GlobalGiving. I am grateful for your generosity and solidarity!

You Make the Work of 500 Volunteer Activists Reaching 20,000 Community Members Possible

You are helping to build a movement led by more than 500 volunteer activists who have already reached 20,000 community members in the last year with messages about dignity and equality for all -- including women and girls living with disabilities.

As in-person, community-level programming resumed in full after a pause due to COVID-19 -- with personal protective practices in place -- Beyond Borders’ staff -- supported by your generosity -- worked with activism network members to achieve several mobilization campaigns.

As in-person activities resumed, the team conducted refresher trainings and in-person technical support with activism network members as they restarted in-person work to mobilize communities. More than 20 workshops were held with activists. Girls’ groups resumed regular programming, implementing more than 300 activities, and mentors conducted special outreach with parents to strengthen their engagement.  

Using Safe and Capable* posters and quick chats, the team engaged more than 3,000 local residents this past quarter in conversations to promote community support for women and girls living with disabilities and actions to prevent and respond to acts of violence against them. When adding community gatherings, local radio broadcasts, door-to-door visits, parent outreach and other girls’ group activities, and the popular theatre performances held by a partner organization, an estimated 8,000 people were reached through Safe and Capable programming during the period. 

Communities Act to Include Women & Girls Living with Disabilities in Local Activities

Community residents observed during community mobilization activities demonstrated increased knowledge and transformed beliefs about the inclusion of women and girls living with disabilities and the violence they face, and locals are taking steps to facilitate the participation of women and girls living with disabilities at community activities. 

In addition, recent advocacy efforts conducted by a local women’s leadership group and community activists are evidence of both their capacity and the effectiveness of Safe and Capable at instigating local initiatives to drive relevant, sustainable change. These activists are urging local governments to ensure accessibility to public spaces for women and girls living with disabilities.

Your Support is Training People From All Walks of Life to Prevent Violence

Your gift is also supporting work with 166 community leaders, professionals, and service providers, equipping them with new skills, tools, and strategies to increase the inclusion of women and girls living with disabilities in socio-professional circles and in communities too. Here’s a look at who your generosity has helped to train:

- 16 Health Workers

- 30 Religious Leaders

- 25 Community Leaders

- 27 Domestic Violence Response Organization Members

- 16 Radio Personnel

- 27 Model Couples (54 individuals)

- 25 Advocacy Committee Members

Your Generosity is Helping to Train Teachers to Use Safe and Capable

Your generosity is also helping to organize workshops during monthly School Focal Point meetings to continue building the capacity of educators to use Safe and Capable materials within their ongoing Power to Girls implementation. Workshop sessions provided strategies for educators to promote Safe and Capable themes both in school and in their communities.

These workshops were also supportive in addressing the challenges caused by turnover in school personnel as well as this year’s unorthodox school calendar due to COVID-19. Project staff were able to repeat many sessions covered earlier in the project period to reinforce Safe and Capable concepts. At future monthly meetings with School Focal Points, additional sessions will be held to strengthen capacity through facilitation practice.

*Safe and Capable seeks to prevent violence against women and girls with disabilities, and to promote the rights and autonomy of women and girls with disabilities. Safe and Capable is supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund), the only global grant-making mechanism dedicated exclusively to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls at the local and national levels. The funds raised support initiatives that have a specific and sustainable impact.

Your Support is Expanding the Network of Girls Clubs, Adding 18 New Clubs

You are also helping to expand Beyond Borders’ network of Girls Clubs, with plans to add 18 new clubs this year. Each Girls Club is a place where girls know they belong, where they are respected, and can be heard. Your generosity also mobilizes the community to protect girls from abuse and exploitation. That’s because the Girls Clubs are at the center of a broader community-wide initiative to transform how girls are seen and to end the violence and discrimination they face. 

You Are Equipping Girls To Be a Force for Positive Change in Their Communities

So, inside and outside Girls Glubs, you are helping girls discover that they are of equal value and you are equipping girls to be a force for positive change in their communities. Your support surrounds girls with mentors who are working tirelessly to end violence against women and girls and create a more equal path for them to walk. Too few people see the critical role girls can play in transforming Haiti. Your generosity shows that you realize what a powerful force for positive change that girls can be in Haiti -- and that you are committed to helping them tear down the barriers they face. Thank you!

The George Washington University’s Global Women's Institute Releases a Baseline Report on the Work You Make Possible

Thanks to you and so many supporters like you who have invested deeply in this movement-building work, our team is continuing its multi-year collaboration with the Global Women's Institute (GWI) at the George Washington University -- first launched in 2016 -- to measure the impact and effectiveness of Beyond Borders' programs to prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Beyond Borders is proud to share one product of this collaboration: a just-released baseline report from the GWI that presents "an in-depth diagnosis of the situation of different types of VAWG in this part of Haiti," and " ... attempts to be the most comprehensive diagnosis done on VAWG in this area."

While the GWI final report won't be complete until next year, this baseline study will be useful in both improving Beyond Borders’ current programs to prevent VAWG and will contribute to the evidence base for future programs and policies to prevent gender-based violence throughout Haiti. You can find the link to the full report in the links section at the end of this report.

What Girls Are Saying About Girls Clubs

One of the best ways to share the impact of your support is for you to hear directly from those whose lives you’ve touched. Here are testimonials from three girls who are members of Girls Clubs that you help make possible though your generosity:

“Long ago when I had a little money, I would buy things with it, more than I needed. Because of the girls’ group, now I’ve learned how to manage my money. During the period of Coronavirus, schools were closed. I stayed at home, and I asked my mother to help me create a small business baking bread. I started out with a tin can of flour, but thanks to the education I received at my girls’ group about how to manage money, today my business has grown, and I purchase a sack of flour and other ingredients, as well as other products that I re-sell for profit.”

- Sherly, girls’ group participant with an intellectual disability

“Before coming to the girls’ group, I really lacked confidence. Sometimes I was ashamed to ask for support because I didn’t want other people to judge me. Now, thanks to the education I’ve received at my girls’ group, I’ve come to understand that I am a person just like everyone else, and the disability doesn’t remove any of my value as a human being. I’m no longer ashamed to request support.”

- Uclide, girls’ group participant with a physical disability

“My Power to Girls girls’ group has a lot of importance in my life. The Safe and Capable module has helped me have so much more confidence in myself, because I have learned so much. I learned that I am living with a health condition rather than a disability. I have the same power as everyone else, and I can do all the same things others can do, it’s just I do it with a physical health condition. I’ve accepted how I am. Now, it’s the people in my community and the people in my home who need to adjust around me in a way so that [my health condition doesn’t become a disability].”

- Yveline, girls group participant

Thank You Again

Thank you again for all that you are making possible through your generous support for Beyond Borders' ‘Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti’ project on GlobalGiving. We are deeply grateful for your solidarity in these challenging times.

You are building the movement to prevent violence against women and girls and ensure that every day more and more girls and women in Haiti are living free from violence, discrimination, and inequality. If you have any questions about what you read in this report, please contact Brian Stevens, Beyond Borders’ Donor Engagement Director, at (305) 450-2561 or b.stevens@beyondborders.net.

Mentors guide girls in discussion at a girls club.
Mentors guide girls in discussion at a girls club.
A girls club member at a rally to prevent violence
A girls club member at a rally to prevent violence
A girls club mentor and member meet outside.
A girls club mentor and member meet outside.
A page from the Safe and Capable English version.
A page from the Safe and Capable English version.
GW's Global Women's Institute Report on our work.
GW's Global Women's Institute Report on our work.

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Chelda, member of a Girls Group you make possible.
Chelda, member of a Girls Group you make possible.

Thank You for Your Generous Support and Your Continued Solidarity

I am grateful for your generous support for the ‘Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti’ project on GlobalGiving!

Your solidarity with women and men and girls and boys in Haiti who are building the movement to end gender-based violence and balance power is creating lasting change in communities.

"I never felt I could have so much worth ... thanks to the Girls’ Group ... I feel stronger!"

One of the best ways we can communicate the impact you are having through your generous support for this project and the movement to prevent violence against women and girls is by inviting those whose lives are transformed by this work to share their experiences with you.

“I never felt I could have so much worth ... thanks to the Girls Group ... I feel stronger! I know more things, especially how people can live with others without violence.” ~Iclide, a member of a Beyond Borders-sponsored Girls’ Group who is living with a disability

“I have a younger sister living with a disability. Even though I’m a Girls’ Group Mentor, I was never interested in inviting her to my Girls’ Group. I thought she couldn’t walk very far. Thanks to the [Safe and Capable] training, I’ve learned to let her decide what she wants to do. This way, she doesn’t have to depend on others in her environment, and she will develop confidence in herself.” ~ Morette, a Girls’ Group Mentor

“I love my Girls’ Group. What I really like is the crafts, because it allows me to make some beautiful things. I never thought I could create such things like macrame and crochet.”

~ Chelda, a Girls’ Group participant living with an intellectual disability

“I am happy, and I’m very proud because I had this opportunity to contribute to a huge change like this in my community. This is an extraordinary thing for me, when I hear how people’s language and attitudes about women and girls with disabilities are starting to change. I believe that, with the support of everyone who has started collaborating on this work, one day we truly will have a United Community Without Violence (translation of Haitian Creole name for Safe and Capable).” ~ Adonis, Beyond Borders Local Activist

Safe and Capable: Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities

Your generous support helps make initiatives like the Safe and Capable program that Morette and Adonis mentioned possible. Safe and Capable seeks to prevent violence against women and girls with disabilities, and to promote the rights and autonomy of women and girls with disabilities.

Beyond Borders’ Rethinking Power team that is working to prevent violence against women and girls and balance power between women and men and girls and boys explains why an initiative like Safe and Capable is so critically important:

“Women and girls with disabilities face discrimination on two levels: because of their gender and because of their disability. This is a result of the higher social standing of men and boys in general and negative societal perceptions of disability. Global evidence shows that women and girls living with disabilities are much more likely to experience violence than other community members. Violence against women and girls with disabilities is rooted in the same power imbalance between sexes, but further fueled by community social norms related to disability that perpetuate misconceptions and prejudice. This violence deprives women and girls with disabilities of their human rights and dignity and limits the development of families and communities.”

Safe and Capable is supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund), the only global grant-making mechanism dedicated exclusively to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls at the local and national levels. The funds raised support initiatives that have a specific and sustainable impact.

Ensuring Greater Social inclusion and Improved Protection From Violence

Creating social norms change in Haiti so that women and girls living with disabilities begin to experience greater social inclusion and improved protection from violence is one of the goals of this project -- a project that your generosity is making possible.

To ensure that this work creates real, lasting change, it is critical to know what current social norms and beliefs are in the communities where this work will take place. The Rethinking Power team conducted a baseline survey that revealed important information about women and girls living with disabilities that was previously missing in Haiti

The team’s baseline survey revealed: “Women and girls living with disabilities had experienced a statistically significant higher prevalence of lifetime physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence than those without disabilities. All types of intimate partner violence measured (emotional, physical, sexual) were found to be higher in those with mental health disorders than those without. In intervention communities, women and girls living with disabilities are more at risk for non-partner sexual violence as well. The baseline also revealed community social norms that discriminate against, stigmatize and negatively stereotype women and girls living with disabilities . . . and perpetuate violence against [them].”

The Rethinking Power team then used this baseline data to inform the types of interventions planned in communities. Now, through the Safe and Capable resource pack, work with residents is raising their awareness and mobilizing people to change their communities so that women and girls living with disabilities experience social inclusion and support from their communities. Thank you again for your generous support for this team and their work!

Communities Demonstrate New Knowledge, Skills and Change in Attitudes and Behaviors

The Rethinking Power team found -- through observations of community activities and reports from activists -- anecdotal evidence that community members are experiencing transformation in beliefs and knowledge, and in how they engage with women and girls living with disabilities in their families and neighborhoods.

Now, community members talk about overcoming shame about women and girls living with disabilities in their own families. Program participants talk about making the decision to treat women and girls living with disabilities differently because of what they have learned through Safe and Capable, and that women and girls living with disabilities have the same power and rights as all persons, and that other people -- particularly men -- do not have the right to treat them with disrespect.

Grassroots leaders are promoting inclusion of women and girls living with disabilities in their communities, and visiting local institutions to encourage improved access for and inclusion of women and girls living with disabilities.

Engaging Local Government in the Movement to Prevent Violence Against Women & Girls

The work conducted through Safe and Capable to engage local government, regional and national entities like the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and community leaders can change the way institutions function over time. Great headway has been made in these relationships, and requests by local authorities to speak at engagements, provide opinions, and be a general resource on issues of violence against women and girls and violence against women and girls living with disabilities has increased. As a result, a protocol with the local office of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs was drafted and signed.

“Long Live Power To Girls!”

Your generosity also continues to support Power To Girls, a complete, three-year methodology to integrate lessons on equality and preventing gender-based violence into the school curriculum, including sample lesson plans for social science, biology and language teachers.

Power To Girls also includes a guide to help schools and communities create and support local girls’ groups, and a set of community organizing tools designed to create deep and lasting change among adults too. By equipping girls and boys and school and civic leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to influence attitudes and behaviors related to girls’ safety and voice, schools and communities can address the root cause of violence against women and girls: gender-power imbalances.

Fifteen-year-old Emmanuella, a member of a Girls’ Club, wrote this poem in praise of Power To Girls for her club’s new year celebration:

Long Live Power To Girls

Power To Girls is fighting against Violence

Against women while giving importance to all girls;

Society we must not be silent

When we see a woman who is suffering.

 

If today I stand in front without trembling

That means my talent is unveiling;

And I'm proud of all the girls watching me

To see how I am extending myself.

 

I don't want to talk in parables

For a long time I had no right to speak;

If violence ends in my family

That means Power To Girls bears a lot of fruit.

 

Today thanks to Power To Girls,

I shine like the noontime sun

And every girl who is hearing me must say:

Long live Power To Girls!

 

Thank You Again

Thank you again for all that you do and all that you are making possible through your generous support for Beyond Borders' Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti project on GlobalGiving. We are deeply grateful for your solidarity in these challenging times.

You are building the movement to prevent violence against women and girls and ensure that every day more and more girls and women in Haiti are living free from violence, discrimination, and inequality. If you have any questions about what you read in this report, please contact Brian Stevens, Beyond Borders’ Donor Engagement Director, at (305) 450-2561 or b.stevens@beyondborders.net.

A pre-pandemic Girls' Group meeting.
A pre-pandemic Girls' Group meeting.
The Safe and Capable Guidebook.
The Safe and Capable Guidebook.
Rethinking Power staff training local authorities.
Rethinking Power staff training local authorities.
A page from Safe and Capable.
A page from Safe and Capable.
Give with confidence.
Give with confidence.

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582 activists trained to prevent VAWG - thank you!
582 activists trained to prevent VAWG - thank you!

You are Mobilizing Communities to Prevent Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG)

Thank you for your generous support for Beyond Borders’ Free, Educate, and Empower Girls project on GlobalGiving. I am grateful for your generosity and solidarity -- especially as you navigate the uncertainty of this global pandemic.

Creating lasting change to prevent gender-based violence requires a broad social movement that transforms the way people think about and react to violence, discrimination, and inequality. Your generous support means that you are part of this movement too.

582 Activists and 35 Organizations Trained to Prevent VAWG

Thanks to you, more than 35 Haitian organizations and 582 newly minted activists are part of this movement too, benefitting from technical support training conducted by Beyond Borders' Rethinking Power team -- the team that is leading this movement-building effort.

These activists are from all walks of life -- grassroots community leaders, religious leaders, health workers, women’s response organizations, Girls’ Group mentors, journalists, women leaders, and school personnel are just some of those trained.

Your generous support is also making it possible for the Rethinking Power team to continue with the combined implementation of three programs to prevent VAWG: SASA!, Power to Girls, and the all-new Safe and Capable* resource pack to prevent VAWG living with disabilities.

The implementation entered the third of four phases, engaging residents living in eight communities in Haiti’s Southeast Department. Through competency-based training and ongoing mentoring support, staff accompanied a network of 582 activists to facilitate social norms change to prevent VAWG.

*Created by our friends at Raising Voices, SASA! (Start, Awareness, Support, Action) is a ground-breaking, internationally-recognized model of community-mobilization to stop violence against women and the spread of HIV. Engaging all actors in the community — women, men, cultural and religious leaders, local officials, police, health-care providers — SASA! fosters critical reflection on gender and power and instigates local-level activism.

Created by Beyond Borders’ Rethinking Power Team, Power To Girls includes a complete, three-year methodology to integrate lessons on equality and preventing gender-based violence into the school curriculum, including sample lesson plans for social science, biology and language teachers. Power To Girls also includes a guide to help schools and communities create and support local girls’ groups, and a set of community organizing tools designed to create deep and lasting change among adults too.

Also created by the Rethinking Power Team, ‘Safe and Capable: Haitian Communities Preventing Violence Against Girls and Women with Disabilities’ is designed to change how people see women and girls living with disabilities and to increase their social inclusion and better protect them from violence. Created with funding from the UN Trust Fund/UN Women, the program is being integrated in communities alongside our SASA! and Power to Girls programming. Safe and Capable includes a five-part introductory guide, training curriculum, theater plays, dialogue-based posters, “quick chat” sessions, and learning and evaluation guides.

Encouraging Communities to Change How They Think About Emotional Violence and Victim Blame

Based on research and evaluation, BB's Rethinking Power team is also focusing on working towards improved community knowledge on emotional violence, attitudes around victim blame, and domestic roles of girls versus boys.

Activism networks are receiving targeted support to strengthen their capacity to lead and organize community-driven advocacy efforts on these topics.

Implementation was delayed due to political unrest, and then further due to COVID-19. After a gap period, during which support for community activism is being delivered primarily at a distance due to COVID-19, the team will complete the full implementation cycle, leading communities to complete phase four by June 2021. Your continued support will make this goal a reality!

Girls Are Creating Change in Their Communities and Schools

The Power to Girls and Safe and Capable programming that your support makes possible is already generating many positive outcomes within Girls’ Groups:

  • Six girls living with disabilities have been integrated into existing Girls’ Groups,
  • The startup of at least three new girls groups is underway, with efforts being led by graduates of existing Girls’ Groups; these motivated girls were trained as mentors; they have secured financial support from their own connections and have requested materials from BB to start new groups. BB will continue to support and mentor these young women in their initiative to bring Power to Girls programming to more girls in their communities;
  • One Girls’ Group (ages 10-14) participant took the initiative to facilitate Power to Girls activities in her school. She used Power to Girls communications materials and reported back to her Girls’ Group Mentor every month;
  • Older Girls’ Group participants are acquiring crafting and livelihoods skills and are beginning to sell their products;
  • Girls’ Groups created six soccer teams, and a girls’ soccer tournament was held in 2019; and,
  • Girls’ Group participants have mastered the game of Chess and were planning a Chess tournament for Summer 2020, but have postponed this until public health conditions allow.

One of the Greatest Successes So Far: the Haiti VAWG Prevention Coalition

One of the greatest successes so far has been the launch of the Haiti VAWG Prevention Coalition. This nonhierarchical cohort model engages six organizations who are receiving training and technical support as well as funding to implement SASA! (three organizations) or Power to Girls (three organizations).

The coalition launched programming in July 2019 and is composed of eight partner Haitian organizations, including Beyond Borders. Pwojè GEM, Centre d'Orientation et de Soutien à La Famille Haïtienne, and Fondasyon Toya are receiving training and technical support to implement Power to Girls over three years. Three other organizations – Association Femmes Soleil d'Haiti, Mouvman Peyizan Papay, and Initiative pour un développement equitable en Haiti – are receiving training and technical support to implement SASA! over three years. 

While Beyond Borders provides training and technical support on the methodologies, the Haiti Development Institute is evaluating and designing needs-specific organizational development training to strengthen each organization’s capacity to manage projects and financial accountability.

We are very excited about how this cohort-based technical support model will contribute to BB’s successful scaling of VAWG prevention methodologies in Haiti while also providing a funding model for other grant makers to support effective scaling through non-hierarchical technical support provision.

Building Strategic Connections with Haitian and Regional Feminist Movements

Your generosity is also supporting Beyond Borders’ efforts at cultivating strategic alliances within Haiti to network with and influence the feminist movement -- and their is significant progress to report!

A protocol was established and signed with Haiti’s Ministry for Women’s Affairs, and a protocol for collaboration with Haiti's Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities was drafted and is pending signature for collaboration on preventing violence against women and girls living with disabilities.

The Rethinking Power team also began developing plans to rollout use of the Movement Capacity Assessment Tool with other organizations when funding and public health conditions allow. Plans have also been made for BB's participation in upcoming regional activities organized by the Coalition of Feminists for Social Action.

All of these advances are strengthening the movement to prevent violence against women and girls -- and they are made possible by you!

Positive Shifts in Community Members’ Beliefs and Knowledge about VAWG and Power

A Rapid Assessment Survey conducted by local researchers found positive shifts in beliefs and knowledge. Data was collected via a quantitative survey involving 209 community members (108 women/ 101 men) and eight focus group discussions were conducted with 66 women and girls and 39 men and boys.

Results revealed several positive shifts in community members’ beliefs and knowledge about VAWG and power, and their capacity to support community actions to prevent and respond to violence.

  • 97.6% of community members do not believe a husband has a right to slap his wife.
  • 97.6% of community members understand that if a man has multiple partners, he has an increased risk of contracting HIV.
  • 98.1% of community members believe it is equally important for girls and boys to go to school.
  • 96.6% of community members believe a man does not have a right to beat, humiliate or refuse economic support to his partner if they have an argument.

Thank You Again

Thank you again for all that you do and all that you are making possible through your generous support for Beyond Borders' Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti project on GlobalGiving. We are deeply grateful for your solidarity in these challenging times.

You are building the movement to prevent violence against women and girls and ensure that every day more and more girls and women in Haiti are living free from violence, discrimination, and inequality. If you have any questions about what you read in this report, please contact Brian Stevens, Beyond Borders’ Donor Engagement Director, at (305) 450-2561 or b.stevens@beyondborders.net.

Girls' Club members playing chess.
Girls' Club members playing chess.
Girls' Groups created six soccer teams.
Girls' Groups created six soccer teams.
A preventing VAWG training for community groups.
A preventing VAWG training for community groups.
Sharing SASA! and Power To Girls materials.
Sharing SASA! and Power To Girls materials.
Isnise speaks on SASA! and Power To Girls.
Isnise speaks on SASA! and Power To Girls.

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Working to prevent a spike in domestic violence.
Working to prevent a spike in domestic violence.

Thank You for Your Generosity and Solidarity

Thank you again for your generous support for Beyond Borders' Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti project on GlobalGiving.

Your investment in this work means that girls, women, boys and men in so many more communities than before now have the skills they need to balance power between the sexes, prevent domestic violence and ensure equality of opportunity for every girl and woman.

As we take action to prevent any spike in violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic and help families protect themselves from this deadly virus, your solidarity and continued generosity mean more than we can say. Thank you again!

COVID-19 Emergency Response

Here are some of the special COVID-19 Emergency Response activities that your support is making possible right now:

  • Public service announcements sent via text message, Whatsapp, and other social media to raise awareness about the risk of increased violence against women and girls and violence against children during crises.
  • Continued accompaniment and support for survivors who report cases of abuse to our networks.
  • The distribution of family hygiene kits via our Girls Clubs and other networks that include soap, bleach, and a bucket with an on/off valve to conserve precious water.
  • Sharing critical virus-prevention educational materials about hand-washing, mask wearing, and social distancing.
  • Awareness-raising campaigns to encourage communities to think about what they can do to support family, friends, and neighbors who may need extra help during the pandemic (i.e.- women or girls experiencing violence, the elderly and women and girls living with disabilities).

You are making all of this work possible with your generous gift. Thank you again!

You can get the latest on all that Beyond Borders is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Haiti on a special website we've created: www.Haiti-Covid.org.

Safe and Capable: Preventing Violence Against Girls and Women With Disabilities

Your gift is also supporting the work of our program known as Safe and Capable: Haitian Communities Preventing Violence Against Girls and Women with Disabilities.

Created with funding from the UN Trust Fund/UN Women, the program is being integrated in communities alongside our SASA! and Power to Girls programming.

The goal of the project is to change how people in Haiti see women and girls living with disabilities and to increase their social inclusion and better protect them from violence. Safe and Capable includes a five-part introductory guide, training curriculum, theater plays, dialogue-based posters, “quick chat” sessions, and learning and evaluation guides.

While the pilot is still ongoing, our colleagues are reporting progress. A number of changes in pilot communities are being observed and recorded. In addition, many network members who previously believed disability was caused by a curse or as a result of a parent’s wrongdoing have changed their beliefs.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights of what Beyond Borders, together with our partners Pazapa, Productions Théatre Toupatou (TTPT), and the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University have achieved so far:

  • Delivered multiple days of training and ongoing technical support to multiple groups within the volunteer activism network to build their capacity to use the Safe and Capable communications materials and guides. The volunteer activism network led conversations with thousands of community members on themes that included: promoting balanced power and violence prevention in couples, building skills to prevent violence against women and girls living with disabilities and to provide support to activists and to women and girls experiencing violence.
  • Celebrated 16 Days of Activism to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls in November-December and International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. During Carnival season, some special mobilization activities were held to promote the prevention of violence against women and girls with disabilities, including a float in the 2020 Jacmel carnival, though many activities had to be cancelled due to political protests. 
  • TTPT continued popular theater programming around preventing violence against women and girls with disabilities, holding three performances that drew large crowds, despite frequently blocked travel due to political protests.

A Community Begins to Change How it Sees Women and Girls with Disabilities

Some of the major successes have come in the form of community reactions after engagement with the Safe and Capable materials and a dialogue-based process to encourage change.

A new recognition among members of the community of the inherent right to personal power that women and girls with disabilities have and the positive belief that they have a right to live without violence -- as all women do -- began to lead to positive outcomes that included:

  • The participation of girls with disabilities in the girls’ group soccer championship tournament organized over the winter break.
  • A rejection on the part of members of the community of previous stereotypes, the past use of verbal abuse and demeaning language, and the past belief that violence was not a problem in their community.
  • Community members began to speak out, inviting others to discuss issues like accessibility of services and other ways to ensure that women and girls with disabilities have access to balanced power with other members of the community, including their partners.

Here’s a look at some other outcomes from the work of this program that are either on-track to be fully achieved or have already been fully achieved:

  • One hundred percent of staff from eleven Haitian organizations we are working with now demonstrate increased awareness of the issue of violence against women and girls and its impact on women and girls with disabilities, and have developed the skills to effectively implement inclusive prevention activities and dialogue within their respective communities.
  • Eight pilot intervention communities in the Southeast of Haiti are on-track to successfully demonstrate new knowledge and skills and a change in attitudes and behaviors that promote the rights of women and girls with disabilities to live a life free of violence.

Powerful Impact: One Girl’s Personal Testimony

The impact that programming like Safe and Capable can have in the lives of individual girls is often powerful. Here’s one girl’s personal testimony:

“Because every day my situation gets worse, my parents said I couldn’t keep coming to the girls’ groups. I told my mother and begged her until she couldn’t stand it anymore; I told her that by whatever means possible she should ensure I go to the girls’ group because the girls’ group is the first thing I’ve had that has helped me have confidence in myself. It has helped me gain knowledge about girls’ power and allowed me to develop my capacity. It’s the place where I learn many things like how to crochet, how to understand that all people are people, that life isn’t over because you’re living with a disability. The other girls play with me and laugh with me, without seeing my disability. They pass by to get me on the way to the girls’ group meetings. My mother came to understand me, and she let me keep coming to participate with all of my friends.” - Malorie, girls’ group participant with a physical disability

Thank You Again

Thank you again for all that you do and all that you are making possible through your generous support for Beyond Borders' Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti project on GlobalGiving. We are deeply grateful for your solidarity in these challenging times.

You are building the movement to prevent violence against women and girls and ensure that every day more and more girls in Haiti are growing up free, educated, and empowered. If you have any questions about what you read in this report, please contact Brian Stevens, Beyond Borders’ Donor Engagement Director, at (305) 450-2561 or b.stevens@beyondborders.net.

Distributing family hygiene kits at girls clubs.
Distributing family hygiene kits at girls clubs.
930 buckets for hand-washing stations distributed.
930 buckets for hand-washing stations distributed.
A Safe and Capable Training - before the pandemic.
A Safe and Capable Training - before the pandemic.
A float in the Jacmel carnival raises awareness.
A float in the Jacmel carnival raises awareness.
Give with confidence.
Give with confidence.

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A rally to end violence against women and girls.
A rally to end violence against women and girls.

Your Generous Support is Building a Movement

You are building the movement to free, educate, and empower girls in Haiti by preventing violence against women and girls and balancing power between women and men and girls and boys. Thank you!

Creating lasting change requires broad social movements that transform the way people think about and react to injustice. Your support for Beyond Borders’ ‘Free, Educate, and Empower Girls in Haiti’ project is helping to build a Haitian-led movement to ensure that every woman and girl lives free from violence, discrimination, and inequalty.

Activists Like Jesula are Changing Minds

Your support means that activists like Jesula are able to engage people from all walks of life in the movement to prevent violence against women and girls and balance power. Here’s what one Evangelical pastor said about Jesula’s work in the community of Lavale, where she and her fellow activists also organized a community-wide rally:

"Before, I thought [they] had come to split up families, but after they invited me to a meeting, I realized [they] help women and men live better. Now, Jesula I’m extending to you a standing invitation to do activities in my church anytime you want."

The Impact We’re Seeing in Communities

Measuring the impact that activists like Jesula are having as they build the movement to prevent violence against women and girls and balance power is a top priority.

A multi-year collaborative effort between Beyond Borders’ Rethinking Power team, which leads the work that your generosity is supporting, and the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University to measure the impact of our movement building work that is employing the SASA!* methodology is currently underway.

Initial results indicate a more than 38% decrease in controlling behavior by men, a more than 45% decline in economic-based intimate partner violence (a male spouse or partner taking money from and/or refusing to share household economic decision-making with a female spouse or partner), and a more than 30% decline in physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence.

Researchers have also found “significant results as related to the social norms that should favor more equality between boys and girls.”

*Created by our friends at Raising Voices, SASA! (Start, Awareness, Support, Action) is a ground-breaking, internationally-recognized model of community-mobilization to stop violence against women and the spread of HIV. Engaging all actors in the community — women, men, cultural and religious leaders, local officials, police, health-care providers — SASA! fosters critical reflection on gender and power and instigates local-level activism.

A Husband Shares How SASA! Changed Him

“Before I became involved in SASA! activities, I would not give my wife money to go to market on Saturday if she did not have sex with me on Friday night. Now I recognize she has the right to say no if she does not want to have sex.”

The Movement Building Work That You Make Possible

Here's some of the movement building work that your generosity is making possible in Haiti:

Trainings for Community Activists, Health Workers, Journalists, and Girls’ Club Leaders

  • 40 Community Activists spent three days in training to better understand the Action Phase of SASA! and Phase 4 of Power to Girls* and the kind of activities they have to facilitate (with the support of the Rethinking Power team) during these phases.
  • 15 health workers participated in two days of training on the Action Phase of SASA!
  • 16 journalists participated in a one-day training on the Action Phase of SASA! and Phase 4 of Power to Girls. This training helped them understand the objectives of these phases and the ways to address the subject of violence against women and girls in their reporting.
  • 15 health workers, 26 members of organizations that respond to incidents of violence against women and girls, and mentors from Girls’ Clubs launched by Beyond Borders were trained in the Safe and Capable module to help them better understand the reality of women and girls living with disabilities and the high risks of violence (compared to women and girls who are not living with disabilities) that they face. This training equipped them with the skills they need to help ensure women and girls with disabilities live free from violence and discrimination.
  • Meetings to gather feedback from leaders and mentors in 16 Girls’ Clubs, and community activists and leaders were held, and a new supervisor for Girls’ Club mentors was hired. 

*Power To Girls includes a complete, three-year methodology to integrate lessons on equality and preventing gender-based violence into the school curriculum, including sample lesson plans for social science, biology and language teachers. Power To Girls also includes a guide to help schools and communities create and support local girls’ groups, and a set of community organizing tools designed to create deep and lasting change among adults too.

A Girls’ Club Mentor Shares How the Safe and Capable Training Changed Her

“I’m a mentor and I always tell the girls not to hurt children living with disabilities, but, after this training, I’ve come to realize that I marginalized my younger sister who is living with a disability. Now, I’ve invited my sister to be a member of the club and she is doing well. One day, the girls had to walk to go somewhere for an activity. I was embarrassed because I thought my sister would not be able to make it, but she did better than many of the girls. I realized that my attitudes toward her were marginalizing her and that she is able to do more than I thought.” 

House Gatherings, Community-Wide Rallies, Theatre Performances, and Radio Programs to Raise Awareness    

Thanks to your support, the Rethinking Power team -- in collaboration with local Community Activists -- organized seven house gatherings and community-wide rallies to raise awareness about violence against women and girls. More than 170 community members joined the efforts to discuss and learn about concepts from SASA! and Power to Girls.

The Rethinking Power team organized four theatre performances on preventing violence against women and girls and balancing power between women and men and girls and boys. More than 150 people participated in discussions after the performances.

For the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Dec. 3, the team organized a radio broadcast to highlight the increased rate of violence women and girls with disabilities face.

To launch the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence from Nov. 25-Dec. 10, the team organized a press conference and public demonstration in the community of Lavale. More than 50 Community Activists participated.

Technical Support for Partner Organizations Working to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Demonstrations throughout Haiti made it difficult for the Technical Support team to travel, so the team kept contact with partner organizations through telephone calls and Skype, even holding a training for members of one partner organization through Skype. During the month of December, the team organized three in-person three-day trainings from Dec. 11-13, 17-19 and 27-29 for partner organizations.

Thank You Again

Your continued support and solidarity are building the movement to prevent violence against women and girls and ensure that every day more and more girls in Haiti are growing up free, educated, and empowered. If you have any questions about what you read in this report, please contact Brian Stevens, Beyond Borders’ Donor Engagement Director, at (305) 450-2561 or b.stevens@beyondborders.net. Thank you again!

 

Students at a Jacmel school using Power To Girls.
Students at a Jacmel school using Power To Girls.
Both women and men are joining the movement.
Both women and men are joining the movement.
One of 16 Girls' Clubs in southeastern Haiti.
One of 16 Girls' Clubs in southeastern Haiti.
A poster from the Safe and Capable training.
A poster from the Safe and Capable training.
In 2020, we've again earned 'top-ranked' status.
In 2020, we've again earned 'top-ranked' status.

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Organization Information

Beyond Borders

Location: Norristown, PA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @beyondbordersHT
Project Leader:
Kristie van de Wetering
Washington, DC United States
$26,637 raised of $50,000 goal
 
305 donations
$23,363 to go
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