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Sisters Informing Healing Living and Empowering (SIHLE)


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Article By: NAAHP

My name is Vanessa Geffrard and I am in need of some resources to help bring a valuable program to the young women living in Haiti. I have been working for the last few months with a Haitian/ Haitian American work group and consultants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to adapt a program for Haitian women entitled, Sisters Informing Healing Living and Empowering (SIHLE). SIHLE is an evidence-based, group level, peer led, social-skills training intervention aimed at reducing HIV sexual risk behavior among African American teenage females, ages 14-18.

The curriculum is a four part program:

  • The first section helps the girls explore ethnic and gender pride through affirmations, poems written by famous African American poets, and group work to emphasize importance of being a strong African American woman.
  • The second part of the program takes girls through female and male anatomy, HIV and STD transmission, and how the HIV virus affects women of color. Games, role plays, and skills based activities are found in this section.
  • The third section discusses the components of healthy relationships.
  • The fourth section explores abuse/violence in relationships, and seeking help. Lastly, the girls will teach back what they have learned to their group mates and community.

I have been in the process of adapting the program to make it culturally suitable for young women living in Haiti, but I need help with various resources.

What I need are people who:

  • Are interested in being interviewed to gauge their insight/opinions on the importance of bring a HIV prevention program to Haiti
  • Can help provide on the ground resources in Haiti for any organizations that would like to house the program and receive training for their staff for the programming
  • Can help get contacts for the Health Ministry in Haiti to gain their support and permission of the program
  • Can provide leads on funding resources for the implementation of the program
  • Work with young women ages 14-18 who work in the Washington D.C., Maryland or Virginia area to pilot the intervention before it is taken to Haiti

I would appreciate any help, resources, or insight you can provide to help in this endeavor.

Please contact me for more information about the curriculum and workplan. I look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to call me at 443-850-3800 or email me.

In solidarity-

Vanessa Geffrard


National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals

NAAHP is focused on connecting a global community of peers with career advancement resources as well as fostering transformative relationships to strengthen Haiti through philanthropy and social entrepreneurship.

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