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Blog

The Jasper House Haiti blog is designed to share stories, updates and testimonies that raise awareness, create dialogue and bring enlightenment to those seeking to become more involved in the advocacy and abolition of injustice. 

 

Hand in hand and side by side.

Maria Atkinson

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The importance of men supporting women is something that shouldn’t be underestimated. I think back to my Dad who, with the most sincere heart, always told me that I could do anything I wanted because he truly believed it. I can also remember my Grandpa telling tales of all the great things he knew I would do one day, or the pastors and mentors I’ve had over the years who have helped guide and equip me for all life can be.

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As Father’s Day quickly approaches, I am reminded of the important role men play in the empowerment of women. So today, we want to say thank you to the men who support our efforts. Thank you to the men who give so graciously of their time and money to empower and educate women in Haiti. We say thank you, but honestly, thank you doesn’t even begin to express our gratitude.

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So many times people believe that being pro-women means being anti-men, and at Jasper House that just couldn’t be less true. Without the men that selflessly step forward, we wouldn’t be here today. Over 32% of our monthly donors are male!

Our art and sewing teachers at Jasper House are men, and they use their giftings to empower women to learn a trade. They take time to pour into these women and stir up a passion in them to develop their own skills, and to use those skills to start businesses and to grow their dreams.

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One of our board members, James, has six daughters at home (yes, six!), and spends his time leading by example of what it means to enable women to step into their God given potential, no matter what their circumstances may have been.

We don’t want our cause to be isolated to being supported only by women. We believe men supporting women is just as important as women supporting women. We can’t fight this fight alone. We have to have men to come along and partner with us to fight for freedom and empowerment for women in Haiti.

Think of how amazing it could be if we all joined together to create a movement like no one has ever seen; men and women working together to break the cycles of oppression and misfortune of women in Haiti and turn that into an opportunity for empowerment and renewal. Imagine the change that could happen if men and women were joined together in the fight; hand in hand and side by side.

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Written by: Ashley Holmes

Investment.

Maria Atkinson

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When you think of what allowed you to arrive in the position you currently are what comes to mind? 

Getting your education? 

Receiving a specific opportunity? 

Or, also thinking of the people who made a difference in your life. Those who believed in you, deposited in you and made an investment. 

For many of us, our mentors, teachers, parents, grandparents, and others, are the ones who were the most influential in helping us reach out full potential. 

Having people who believe in you, who see the greatness in you even when you can't see it in yourself is primarily what helps you achieve success. 

For many women in Haiti, having someone who believes in them, sees their potential, and champions them to be all they can be is largely nonexistent. 

How can you begin to believe in and realize your own capabilities and capacity when no one is encouraging you or speaking life into your circumstances? 

At Jasper House Haiti, we see the direct impact and result that comes from investing in the lives of women. 

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Castelie

Castelie was just 17 years old when she first learned of the Jasper House Haiti Women's Academy of Learning two years ago and knew this was an opportunity she wouldn't pass up. 

Castelie chose the culinary arts vocational track and excelled immediately. She dreams to have her own restaurant or cafe where she can serve people like she has learned to do at Jasper House.

But even before having the opportunity to open a restaurant, Castelie began making food at her house and selling in her neighborhood to provide for herself and her mother. 

Rain or shine, Castelie will be in class determined to succeed and become far more than a status quo.

“I thank God that He allowed me to find Jasper House - before I was just at home, I was not going to school. Thanks to Jasper House, I have learned so many things professionally and educationally- because of Jasper House I have discovered I am empowered.”

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Roseadline

When Roseadline first came to Jasper House, she barely spoke and never smiled. 

Today, she is strong and confident in herself and abilities. She believes she is capable and expresses the change she sees in herself because of the love and care she has received. She is one of the primary artisans and production manger for our social business, R&E, and prides herself in her work. 

"I dream that God would bless Jasper House so we can grow and be able to help even more women. I dream for our business to grow so we can be able to give more job to women in need. My hope is that I can continue to perfect the skills I have learned at JHH so I can provide for myself and not worry for tomorrow."

These are just two examples of what happens in the lives of a woman who has been invested in. 

When you support Jasper House Haiti, you aren't merely paying bills or seeing your dollars go into a black hole without seeing any results. 

You are directly affecting the lives of real women like Castelie and Roseadline, women who are waiting for a door of opportunity to be opened so they can reach their full potential. 

When you support Jasper House Haiti you are investing in the lives and futures of women and their children. 

You are breaking the cycles of poverty and abuse and writing a new story for a better tomorrow. 


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Written by: Maria Atkinson, Founder/CEO Jasper House Haiti

To read more of her thoughts, emotions and musings check out her blog, Going Forth.

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow is For Women.

Maria Atkinson

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At Jasper House, the words, “Demen Se Pou Fanm” have become a mantra for the women in the healing centre + academy for learning. Taken from the root of the English phrase, “The Future is Female” and transformed into Haitian Creole, translating to “Tomorrow is for Women”.

 

This phrase has become a chant for the women, capturing the strength of their voices, and reminding them of their power, and the leadership they possess.

 

All around the world, from a young age, women have had to struggle to compete for their rightful place.

Wherein a man is already standing, a woman has to strive to achieve.

For the women in Haiti, they are at a disadvantage from the time they are born.

In a male dominance culture, women have to work harder to prove their own worth and value.

The reality of the situation is—most times; they are not seen as equal.

 

Even if they are educated.

Even if they are working.

Even if they are raising children.

Men still view them as less.

 

This is the majority.

Are there men who see women as worthy here? Yes.

But the place of a woman in Haiti is oftentimes overlooked.

 

At Jasper House, we seek to rise above this.

The purpose of all of our programs, restoration, and healing, is so that women may find their inner strength, beauty and worth.
That they would never again, have to be seen as “less than” or as someone who is not worthy of their true value.

 

Women in Haiti do not need a handout—they need an opportunity.

They need other women (and men) coming alongside them, to create jobs and skill sets that they can learn, to better their future.

They need education, and tools, which will help them rise above their current level of knowledge.

They need encouragement, just like we all do, and reminders of their own inner worth—their power, their strength, and their perseverance.

 

The circumstances most of the women in our programs face are not something that should ever have to happen.

But, because of the male dominance culture, and the lack of education, women are treated poorly. They are not seen as equals, and men who do not have appropriate ways of releasing their emotions use them as an outlet.

 

Lack of opportunities for education in Haiti result in women feeling less than their true value.

A woman here is more ashamed to say she does not know how to read and write, than she is to say she is a prostitute.

This is the level at which life without education permeates, and de-values women.

 

But, this is not where their story has to end.

At Jasper House, women are finding their worth again.

They are seeing their value.

They are rising above, and learning tangible skills and education that will carry them on to change their country.

 

So we continue to push forward—we continue to chant, “Demen Se Pou Fanm” as a mantra echoing the strength and resilience of these women’s stories, and the life change they are experiencing.

 

Will you join us?