Today, on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that changed Haiti forever, V-Day remembers those who were lost, and honors those who have worked tirelessly since the devastation to take care of their brothers and sisters and hold their communities together.
We remember with love our sister and V-Day activist Myriam Merlet, one of Haiti and the Caribbean's most beloved women's leaders and the Chief of Staff of the Ministry for Women in Haiti. As we forge ahead in our work, we think of her limitless spirit and vision.
Today in Haiti, over 1.3 million are still living in makeshift camps, where women and girls are at high risk of sexual assault. A new report published this week shows that many women and girls are being raped "by armed men and youth gangs roaming the camps after dark." UNICEF reports that the rape of women and girls in post-earthquake Haiti has reached a four-year high.
V-Day Takes Immediate Action In Response To The Earthquake
In response to the earthquake and the violence that broke out in its wake, V-Day mobilized quickly to help, creating the V-Day Haiti Rescue Fund. V-activists from around the world dug deep and donated funds, which provided emergency support to AFASDA to serve displaced women from Port au Prince who were fleeing to the Northern coast in Cap Haitien. We were also able to provide 40 women and their families with shelter through our partner ShelterBox, which provided 10-person tents to each family, along with a range of other essential emergency equipment. Through this support, V-Day estimates that 400 to 500 individuals were provided with emergency relief.
New V-Day Project Launches in Haiti
We are very excited to report that, under the leadership of longtime V-Day activist Elvire Eugene, V-Day has supported a Task Force made up of local Haitian women's leaders, co-run by activists Judie C. Roy and Marie Gislhene Mompremier. The Task Force has engaged in a revolutionary long-term V-Day project to establish three safe houses, each with an office of legal assistance for survivors of violence, in Cap-Haitien, Fort Liberte and Port-de-Paix. The group continues to work on the ground to direct and implement efforts to support earthquake survivors and end violence against women and girls, including providing legal support to women at various locations in Port au Prince, and building grassroots support and awareness for the campaign through advocacy efforts like productions of The Vagina Monologues.
V-Day 2011 Spotlight Campaign on the Women and Girls of Haiti - NEW Spotlight Monologue by Eve Ensler
As V-Day is committed to mobilizing its global network to raise awareness and funds for women in Haiti, we are thrilled to have chosen "The Women and Girls of Haiti" as the 2011 Spotlight Campaign. This year during V-Season, activists in over 1,500 locations around the world will present a new monologue written by Eve Ensler, which will raise awareness about the increased violence against women and girls in post-earthquake Haiti, and will raise funds to support V-Day's efforts on the ground. Opportunities to get involved abound - from holding local V-Day benefits, to sharing a teach-in with your community to raise awareness about the history of Haiti and the needs of women now.
READ Eve's 2011 Haiti Spotlight Monologue >
Please join us in supporting the extraordinary work of women activists working on the ground in Haiti. Now, more than ever, they need our attention.
How You Can Help Women in Haiti
DONATE to the V-Day Haiti Rescue Fund >
HOST a Haiti Teach-In >
PRODUCE a V-Day Benefit and Spotlight Haiti >
IN HONOR: Myriam Merlet >
Photo Credit: Paula Allen