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