Be Enough Me: Building Capacity

by Elena on January 23, 2012 in Bloggers4Haiti,Giving Back,Travel

As day two of our Bloggers4Haiti trip comes to an end, I am still processing much of what we have seen, learned, and felt since touching down in Port au Prince.

 Building capacity in Haiti | ciao mom

But my gut knows something about this place, this magical country, whose story can be told through the smiles, the expressions, the crowds on the street, and the hard working hands of all the people that live each day trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.

We have met artisans, residents of tent camps, parliamentarians, historians, and journalists.  Time and again the message is the same.  Building capacity.  Empowering individuals to be independent, to be entrepreneurs, to be masters in their craft.

Building capacity in artisans in Haiti | ciao Mom

Master artist Jean Baptiste | Ciao Mom

Today we visited a very special camp, home to 200 women and their families. The women of OFEDA are part of a collaborative, independent group that more than anything, wants to work, and to learn how to help nurture their children so that they can grow to be strong and independent citizens. 

Building Capacity in Haiti with Ofeda | Ciao Mom

Ofeda, the organization of women devoted to action, was founded by photographer Paula Allen and storyteller Laura Simms in 2011, to organize the community and create a sustainable market cooperative that provides income with which to live, and an emotional and physical resource for support and encouragement to it’s members.

Creating sustainable independence at Ofeda | Ciao Mom

I will be writing much more about Ofeda in the future as I hope to find ways to be part of the effort to provide much needed resources and training as these women shape their future. But for today, seeing their smiles and hearing their stories of wanting to learn, and of the importance of individuals that help by coaching and mentoring…..that is enough.

For these women, and their children, as well as so many others, are the future of a country that has endless potential.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie January 23, 2012 at 9:19 am

Amazing – simply amazing. I’m so glad you’re enjoying yourself and learning so much!! xoxoxo

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Missy | Literal Mom January 23, 2012 at 9:28 am

That’s beautiful, Elena. I’m left wanting to hear more! Have a safe trip back.

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Sweaty January 23, 2012 at 11:18 am

I can’t say enough how proud I am of you, dear friend. You are making a difference, and what a trip it has been from the look of it! OFEDA sounds like a really great team effort that empowers women. I like that it provides not only knowledge and physical resources, but also emotional support as well. Can’t wait to hear more from your days in Haiti!

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Ananda Leeke January 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

Thanks for the wonderful update. Keep enjoying Haiti for us all. Tell all the bloggers hi.

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Kelly January 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

What an experience! So amazing….
xoxoxo

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Sara January 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

This is wonderful. I lived in the Dominican Republic for two years and had the opportunity to visit Haiti once. The Haitian community that I had the privilege to meet was a welcoming, kind, interesting group of people.

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Jessie Powell January 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm

What a powerful experience. May it change you and allow you to bring strength and empowerment to those you meet.

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Gina January 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

What an amazing and rewarding trip you’re having. I love that you’re empowering women and they hunger to learn. I look forward to reading more about Ofeda and your trip to Haiti.

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Brandi January 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

What an incredible experience you must be having! I cannot wait to hear more!

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Christa B. January 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm

You served a very good inspiration to others. These artisans are really creative and industrious. How long did you stay in that area? I hope I can visit there too.

Thanks for the inspiration.

-Christa

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Robin @ Farewell, Stranger January 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Sounds like a totally amazing experience. So glad you’re writing about it.

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Leighann January 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm

How wonderful that you could be apart of that.
So proud of you.

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Tina @ Life Without Pink February 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Wow what a wonderful experience!

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