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Happy International Women’s Day!

We are happy to introduce a young woman who serves as a role model for the girls who find home at Espwa – Katia!

Katia began working with Pwoje Espwa after Hurricane Matthew, providing administrative support to our outreach services. Among all of the applicants, she stood out because of her kind and sweet personality. She received people with a gentle heart and conducted interviews of individuals and families who had lost everything in the hurricane. Not only did she perform administrative tasks, but Katia also participated in food deliveries to families and communities all across southern Haiti, and followed up with those receiving aid as they recovered.

Katia has a university degree in Business Administration, and lives with her family in Madame Combe right outside of Espwa’s gates.

After emergency relief services minimized, Katia became the first Haitian woman to serve on the Finance Team at Pwoje Espwa. She is a valuable member of the team, performing day-to-day finance and human resource duties that keep the office operational and on-task.

Katia continues to be the first friendly face to greet a community member in need of food or shelter aid, and participates in our community service outreach such as our Box of Joy events.

We are proud to have many hard-working, strong women working at Pwoje Espwa, including the women who make up our kitchen staff. These ladies work tirelessly to provide over 10,000 meals every week to our children, staff and community members. Some of them are the sole providers for their families, and ALL of them serve as role models for the girls at Pwoje Espwa.

Pwoje Espwa began admitting girls for residency in 2006. In Haiti, girls are more likely to drop out of school, more likely to be victims of gender-based violence, and less likely to complete their classical studies. Women perform most of the unpaid work in the Haitian economy, like house cleaning, gathering clean water, and child care. Despite having equal constitutional rights, discrimination against women is structurally embedded in Haitian society and culture.

By providing a safe living environment for the 80 girls at Espwa, we provide them an opportunity to complete their education, participate in extracurricular activities on campus, learn important vocational skills, and grow as individuals.


To learn more about International Women’s Day and why it’s important, you can visit

I fell in love with Espwa during my first visit last year. Hard to put into words, but there was a real "heart" connection with the kids and staff. It is a special place. My visit was focused primarily on the girls and the teachers. Relationships were initiated during that first visit that I treasure very much!

- Maria Simeone

There is hardly a more heartbreaking sight than seeing an orphan in Haiti--many of them who have families who simply cannot feed and clothe them. Of course there is the emotional response to their plight, but there is a more pragmatic hope--that given a chance in a loving, caring environment, these children can grow up to be leaders, people who can move their communities and the country itself in a positive, healthy direction.

- Jackie Wilson

This place is amazing! The kids and their caregivers will restore your faith in the human spirit. The magic of Espwa is that there is a childhood provided for the kids there that would not exist otherwise.Haiti has a very very long way to go, but this is a hopeful place with clean, well fed, happy children, teachers, house moms, and support staff. Fr Marc and all of the others should be very proud of their accomplishments. Help them in any way that you can!

- Kerri McDonough Croland
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