Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Training for Life

Empowerment training inspires hope and change for women in Haiti

Ferrier, Haiti – In the Haitian town of Ferrier, multiple churches held a large women’s conference. Each church sent 10 women of different ages and backgrounds. Those that wanted to continue joined a monthly leadership training over the course of a year.

Firlande and Thairt were two of these leaders who each facilitates a group of about 15-20 women from their church. They meet weekly sharing everything they learned in the trainings.

“This training helped me to be more compassionate,” said Firlande, a wife and mother of two. “It has taught me that I will never stop learning and I can even apply this in my family life.”

The small groups also had a saving component where each member would bring a small amount of money to each meeting, and everything they saved was matched by Bright Hope.

Graduates from the one-year leadership course display their certificates.

Some of the themes they cover in the training include what it means to care for others, how to be a strong leader and how to cooperate as a team. “The trainings teach us how to be good leaders and how to work together to impact our church and community,” said Firlande.
 
Firlande leads a group of 20 women who want to improve their community and get rid of poverty. Her hope is that each member of her group can lead a group of their own so that more women can be impacted.

“Working in a group, you can achieve so much more…” she said. “Even though we may start small it can grow into something big.”

At twenty years old, Thiart is the youngest leader in the women’s training. Her dream is to complete university and serve her community.

“I’m really proud that I was the youngest leader,” she said. “This made me want to do even more, to show that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can create change.”

Each week her group members bring new ideas and set goals of what they hope to achieve together. “In spite of the little we have, we can make a difference,” she said. “These trainings are a way for us to move forward.”
 
As the one-year women’s empowerment training concluded, Fritz, the pastor of a church in Ferrier, said of women like Firlande and Thiart: “I am so proud of these women leaders in the church.”