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Haiti: Women sustain community through severe hardship

“I was born into a mixed family. My father was wealthy and my mother was poor. My father died when I was just a baby. None of my family wanted to help us, so I learned from an early age that I had to take care of myself and others.” Floricie Tyrell, OPODNE Executive Director. Read her story and watch her Mother’s Day greeting.

Crushing poverty, gender violence, and corruption are the norm for most women in Haiti. One in three Haitian women, ages 15 to 49, has experienced physical or sexual violence. Men leave villages to find jobs so women are left to support their families. There are no safety nets in Haiti.  Meet Florcie, Marie, Bauzeline, Bernadine, and other OPODNE women who are building communities where everyone works for the common good. Florcie rides on the back of a motor cycle on roads that barely exist to train leadership teams in all 13 communities in Northeast Haiti. In Terrier Rouge, Marthe Helene Jean-Pierre organizes a monthly community clean -up so that roads, canals and markets that were once filled with plastic trash are now a source of civic pride. Because of  OPODNE people can take ownership of their communities. Bauseline and Marie St. Fluer organize over 300 families in four villages around the isolated, mountain community of Mombin Crochu. Child care cooperatives help women go to market and sell produce they finance through the micro lending program they operate. In Capotille, Dieulene Silencieux presides over the cooperative that grows peanuts and bananas so members can make enough money to pay school fees for their children. In Vallieres, Denise organizes community work days to repair the washed out road so people can get to the community clinic. Women in communities organized by OPODNE could do so much more if they had your support.

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