What is your mission?
The mission of Jasper House Haiti is: Turning oppression, misfortune, and tragedy into opportunities for empowerment and renewal for young women in Haiti.
Jasper House Haiti exists to restore, heal, and empower young women in Haiti, ages 15-30, who have experienced the pain, trauma and devastation of prostitution, sexual exploitation and abuse. We accomplish this through programs within our transitional, restoration home that bring wellness to the whole person with therapy, education and empowerment through job training.
We aim to help young Haitian women realize their ability to rise above opposition and defeat to be the champions of change within their homes, communities and nation.
What makes your organization so unique in the non-profit space?
I believe what makes us unique, is that the end goal of Jasper House Haiti is to be as self-sustained as possible. We are currently working to develop our farming and agricultural programs to help our women learn how to grow and maintain their own food, as well as provide resources for our programs. We are also developing a social business model to create jobs to employ our women as they transition out. We are not merely focused on charity. We strive to provide a hand-up rather than a hand-out to empower individuals out of the cycles of poverty.
We started by the support of a few individuals who invested in our vision. They made several donations which made our launch possible. We are an independent entity and not affiliated with any other organization, company or religious group.
Some of the challenges we have had to face have been finding the best ways to make this program work in regards to cultural sensitivity and maintaining our goals of working towards sustainability and empowerment. Consistent streams of financial support are always an issue. We have a great network advocating for us, but more committed support on a monthly basis would make a world of a difference.
What is your organization up to at the moment & how can Members of the National Association of Haitian Professionals (NAHP) be involved?
Currently, Jasper House Haiti is launching our education and job training programs with literacy, art, health and sexual education, and sewing. We are also in the process of raising an additional $8,500 for rent to secure the upstairs portion of our home for two years. We are also in need of an organizational vehicle to provide transportation.
NAHP can assist us by spreading the word about our program and highlighting the fact that many young women in Haiti choose prostitution out of the need for survival, seeing as many of them have not been allowed be luxury of finishing school or even learning to read. If not prostitution, they often times end up in abusive relationships with older men in order for their most basic needs to be provided. Jasper House Haiti is the only organization in Haiti working to specifically aid this demographic of young women. To help them leave prostitution, human trafficking and abuse, and enter into a home of love, where they can begin to pursue dreams they never thought possible. We would also accept any in-kind donations to help enhance our programs such as French/creole books, computers, sewing machines, etc… We plan to add a business and finance class in the spring, which is when the computers would be of most use and necessity.
Also, if the NAHP is able to assist financially in any way, be it through grants awarded or the like, please let me know if there is a place I might be able to apply. Thank you so very much for reaching out and giving us this extreme honor.