Online Program

Act global and think local: How the Haiti adolescent girls network and local adolescent girls advocates can work together to create safe spaces for adolescent girls. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Lodz Joseph, M.P.H., Youth, International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region, New York, NY
In the wake of the 2010 earthquake, adolescent girls in Haiti remain vulnerable to violence and human trafficking. Responding to reports that there was negligible programming for adolescent girls, a number of Haitian and international organizations and NGOs and local women's groups created the Haiti Adolescent Girls Network (HAGN). Network members aim to maintain Espas Pa Mwen (in Creole) “my space or safe spaces” in which girls regularly meet, find peer mentoring and build skills. This network is designed for collaborative learning and is open to any organization committed to creating girls-only safe places where girls can meet on a consistent basis. To date, over 875 girls have experienced the benefits of Espas Pa Mwen spaces and since inception, over 50 organizations  have had an interest in implementing girls programming in Haiti.  

This presentation will highlight the successes and challenges that incorporate evidence based work from girls centered programming in Haiti and grassroots implementation to drive change with the most vulnerable girls in Haiti. Girls-only groups have a powerful protective effect; they help ignite friendships, connect young girls with peer mentors, foster a sense of belonging and solidarity, and give girls a place to turn to in times of trouble. These safe spaces are also practical platforms through which to deliver critical new skills.

The number of organizations implementing girls-only safe spaces continues to grow and this approach contributes  to ‘build back better' in the wake of an emergency.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the lessons learned from implementing girls centered program design with local Haitian organizations from 2010-2013. Demonstrate the international and national implications (programmatic and policy) to working with the most vulnerable girls.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, International, Gender

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in international settings for close to ten years providing (and increasing access to vulnerable populations (HIV/AIDS; community health, rural health care and gender issues). I have worked in Haiti for close to eight years and I am currently the New York based Coordinator for the Haiti Adolescent Girls Network.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.