Jessica's story - Meeting the needs in my own community

Jessica is 29 years old, living and studying in northern Haiti. She is studying business and administration at the Haut Limbe University (UCNH), and will be graduating in June. She is also responsible for the kids feeding project in Petite Anse, where she helps provide over 160 children with a rice and beans meal twice a week.

Petite Anse is an area outside of Cap Haitian known as a slum, and a lot of the kids who live there don’t get the proper care, nutrition or education they deserve. It was through translating on a trip for a group from the Canada Conference that Jessica was introduced to Petite Anse. Even for people in Haiti this neighbourhood can be devastating to see first-hand. She did not realize the extent of the circumstances her own people were living in, so it was in her heart break that she found the opportunity to use her gifts with kids and administration degree.

Because of people like Jessica and the volunteers in Petite Anse these kids are able to get fed twice a week. She has a desire for taking care of the kids and families in the neighbourhood. Through her time spent in the community, she realized her passion to empowering women could be shared here. Jessica created a day dedicated to teaching the young girls and boys about respect and care for their bodies and relationships with the each other. Culturally Haiti is typically a male-dominated society, but there have been some steps forward for women becoming more independent.

Jessica cares deeply about her country and the people in it, and wants to be able to help other people, as well as empower kids, and women. She hopes the world will see Haiti by the hearts of the people who live there, and not from the negative images typically displayed in the media. “We are smart and strong,” she says, “and I want the world to see that.”

-Kadi Higdon
Photo credit: Kadii Higdon Travel & Photography

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