After spending a week visiting the six departments in Haiti where AVSI is implementing the project “Let’s Work for Our Rights” (LWR) with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Rana Dotson, International Relations Personnel with the US Department of Labor (USDOL), was pleased to see how the agency’s funding supports and reshapes the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the country.
“It’s important to witness how our work and USDOL funding have been used in the field,” said Rana Dotson, who visited the project for the first time in December.
Since 2016, AVSI is implementing LWR, a project that aims to reduce and prevent child labor in Agriculture in Haiti. Until 2019, LWR will be implemented in the North and North East departments, and in the communities near official border areas with the Dominican Republic, including the Central, West and South East departments. Currently, AVSI is supporting 4,800 children engaged in child labor, including domestic work and agriculture, and their families, through a comprehensive set of interventions in the areas of Education, Social Protection and Economic Strengthening.
During her field trip, Rana participated in an encounter organized by CRS in collaboration with AVSI called “Children and Work”. During the event, Régine Lamur, Minister of Youth, Sports and Civic Action (MJSAC), the General Director of City Hall in the region of Cap Haitien and the Secretary-General of the Department of Commerce of the Industry of the North (CCIN), and representatives of private sector and civil society, reflected alongside children supported by AVSI-Haiti on ways to improve vocational training and job search. Through an open dialog, the debate highlighted the challenges and opportunities for young adults to find jobs and the actions needed to improve their socio-economic conditions.
On the last day of her visit, Rana Dotson had the opportunity to meet the staff of AVSI Haiti who works on the project. She also visited the Center for the Protection and Promotion of Opportunities, located in the center of Cap Haitien. Dotson was able to see the handicrafts made by youth who, as part of the project, attended a course with local artisans.
Rana Dotson also visited the town of Limonade, where she met the mayor of the municipality, Gesner Dieudonne, and a mother and her young girl who are also beneficiaries of the project and receive a series of interventions including supporting children at school, and providing economic, social and legal assistance.