Haiti: Espas Pa Mwen - A place for me

Education for young women and girls in slums of Haiti. In the centre of the YWCA Haiti in Pétion-Ville they will find a safe place and receive regular lessons.

For decades Haiti has suffered from poverty and all related problems such as violence, corruption and inadequate education. The very young population, approx. 70% are younger than 30 years, has hardly any prospects. Young women and girls in particular suffer from the shortcomings. Many are sexually abused, are not allowed to go to school and believe that this exploitation and discrimination is normal. The earthquake in 2010 plunged the country deeper into the abyss. About 1.5 million people lost their possessions.

Background Colombia and Programme Environment

Haiti has about 10.4 million inhabitants and is considered the poorest country in the American double continent. YWCA Haiti's Horyzon programme will be implemented mainly in Pétion-Ville, Port-au-Prince in 2017. This location was chosen because the centre is located directly on the edge of a slum and is easily accessible on foot for the beneficiaries, but also in such a way that it is clearly visible and easy to reach from the city centre.
In addition, the 2017 programme will be expanded and implemented at other locations in other organisations' slums in Port-au-Prince, e.g. Cité-Soleil. This organic growth will lead to further sites being examined in Port-au-Prince.

Target Groups

About 1,500 socially and economically disadvantaged girls (8 to 17 years old) and young women (18 to 30 years old) per year, many are full or half-wise, have so far attended no or poor schools and live in poverty.


The young women and girls receive regular instruction and professional care. The meetings in a safe place (Youth Center) and the exchange encourages the beneficiaries to apply what they have learned and to participate in networking events and further training. Their goal-oriented action promotes their self-confidence and allows them to mature into leaders.

Activities & Effects

Youth Center

  • School-based tutoring, personal and professional care and training on topics such as sexuality, violence and health and rights, hot meals.
  • Summer camp of 6 weeks together with YMCA Haiti

Thanks to tutoring and financial support for school fees and materials, the girls have improved their school performance and are better nourished, healthier and more nurtured.

leadership academy


Psychological care, trauma work, workshops on topics such as the environment, ethics, human rights, gender violence, sexual and sustainable health and rights, HIV/AIDS, leadership and self-esteem


Young women make healthy decisions about family planning and relationships. They prevent, lead equal relationships, recognize gender-based violence (also within the family) and use the resources available to them against it.

Results (2017)

Program Area “Youth Center”

After School Tutoring
  • On average more than 400 girls were tutored 5 times a week (by trained mentors and teachers).
  • In addition there was a warm meal for all visitors daily
  • The girls received the necessary material to solve their homework.
Espas Pa Mwen
  • The YWCA Youth Center was a safe place for an average of 400 participants to exchange experiences throughout the week.
  • Workshops were held every Friday and Saturday at the YWCA Centre. Topics included leadership, self-esteem, financial planning, violence, sexuality, health, rights and the environment. Activities such as self-defence, yoga, art and dance were also offered.
  • All participants received a meal on Friday and Saturday.
Summer Camp

186 girls attended the six-week summer camp and took part in various awareness-raising activities in addition to several meals a day.

Program Area "Leadership Academy"

  • 256 learned how to write applications and CVs and how to present themselves in interviews. They also deepened their knowledge in the areas of self-esteem, financial planning, health, sexuality and violence.
  • 9 young women were trained as mentors and trainers to carry out the programme in other centres.

A Video about our Activities


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Further information

Flag of Haiti
Facts about the program

Name: Espas Pa Mwen - A place for me
Partner organization: YWCA Haiti
Location: Pétion-Ville
Goal: Education for young women and girls in slums of Haiti
Target group: 1,500 girls (8 to 17 years old) and young women (18 to 30 years old),
Required funds 2018: CHF 150'000
Duration: 2012-2018, Program Phase I
Responsible: Susanne Furler, susanne.furler@horyzon.ch

Facts about Haiti

Capital: Port-au-Prince
Population: 11 mill.
Human Development Index: 0.498 (rank 168.)
Life expectancy: 63.6 years
Median age: 23 years
Youth unemployment (15-24 years): 36%

Source: Human Development Report