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Haitians call me "Mama Boss" - A Day in the Life of Brigitte

We are pleased to begin a fun series on the ZOE blog that we are calling "A Day in the Life."  Have you every wondered what an average day looks like for our ZOE Partners?  We have.  

Over the next few months we will be invited into the everyday lives of ordinary women doing extraordinary things.  We begin today with Brigitte, who lives and serves in Haiti. Have a read...

by Brigitte

Haitians call me “Manman boss.” The reason is likely because I am passionate about children and I can get by doing many things. This has been a passion of mine since I was 9 years old. At that time I was touched by God in a moment of prayer. Since that day I have felt a burden for poor and unloved children. It was 30 years later that I experienced God’s plan for my life.

In 2013 I came to live in Port-au-Prince with my family. My husband is a pastor and I am supporting families of young children. We are also train young Christian leaders. We have a heart to help them develop their gifts and talents for God, so that they are transformed and have an impact in their country. I also work with the children of the church “La Forteresse” (The Fortress). I teach the Bible to 150-200 children under the age of 6. I love to console them and pray with them so that they can receive Jesus in their heart and so that Jesus will be their best friend.

I also set up a project called “Manman Se La Vi.” A few afternoons a week, along with Stephanie, I visit pregnant women and new mothers in their homes to help them thrive in their new role as mothers. My plan for the next year is to hire a doctor and regularly offer workshops for parents on all matters affecting motherhood. All this is done by integrating the Word of God and sharing the love of Jesus; This is the purpose of our mission.

However, I must tell you that I never thought I would be able to drive a truck, especially not in the streets of Port-au-Prince! I also never thought I would be able to repair a faucet, run a generator, or understand the function of an inverter. Or even to learn another language, be able to barter at a market selling vegetables, or accept living in another culture, but yet I have!

I learned to do things that I thought I was incapable to learn! Have you ever experienced a situation like this? I thought myself incapable, but because God put on my heart to do things for the people of Haiti, He gave me the ability to do so. Is it easy? No, it is very difficult! But is it worth it? Yes, without any hesitation! The every day life as a global worker is certainly a series of adventures, but I would encourage you to believe that “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” Let God prove that you can do more than you ever thought possible.

In a few days, my children will move back to Canada. This is a difficult reality that still drives me in my personal limits, but again I believe that God’s grace will be with us since “all things work together for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).

You wonder why I continue? Because my heart burns for Haiti. I want Jesus’ love to be near to the children like a “p’tit nounours” (little teddy). I want His love to fill Christelle, who is an orphan waiting to be accepted and loved, and for Sherbie, who has a servant heart, and Mona, who is a young woman with a beautiful heart. Despite these girls’ rather sad histories, to God they are pearls of great value.

Brigitte

Further with Jesus, Highest thanks to God

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The Incredible Difference a Pad Can Make!

Menstrual kits being distributed in South Sudan

One of our ZOE Partners, Transformation Textiles recently shared incredible pictures from a recent project they are involved with in the 'no Go Zone' region of the Nuba mountains in South Sudan.  Through Persecution Project 2000 Dignity Kits were distributed in the area.  Those distributing the kits said that many of the women wept when they received them

Dignity Kits - Complete with washing bucket

It is hard for us to imagine, but...

How would you manage your period if you did not have access to sanitary supplies?

To what lengths would you go to avoid shame every month?

  • In East Africa, 80% of women lack access to pads (This amounts to 60M women)
  • 43% are under 15 years old (25.8M)
  • 1 in 10 adolescent girls miss school during menses
  • 60% of girls drop out of secondary school – twice the rate of boys – and are half as likely to be employed as adults.

Who knew that reusable menstrual pads could make such a difference in a woman's life?

Want to do something to help?  Donate HERE!

Educational Opportunities

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4 Ways Menstrual Pads Can Change a Life

Menstrual pads changing a life?  Really?

In Canada, menstrual protection is pretty easy.

When we run out, we just head over to our local Shopper's Drug Mart to pick up what we need.  It is really that simple.  (Don't you love that Shopper's is pretty much the same all over Canada?)

Unfortunately many girls and women around the world do not have access to this same protection... and the consequences are surprisingly serious.  Many girls have no choice but to drop out of school because of their lack of personal hygiene resources, and therefore they miss out on receiving an education.  This “small” problem can define these girls’ lives.

Here are four key ways in which menstrual pads can change a life.

  • Girls between the ages of 12-15 are free to go to school and receive an education.  UN statistics show that with menstrual protection, attendance at school increases by 75%.
  • Girls marry later and subsequently delay having children.  Their children tend to be healthier. 
  • With an education, girls have more career options and they will make on average an income that is 25% higher.
  • With sustainable work girls experience independence and healthier relationships. 

Is this not crazy?

Thankfully, there are people around the world that have seen this problem and made it a personal passion. You will have to wait until next week's blog post (sorry...I think they call this a "teaser") but at ZOE Projects we want to help provide menstrual protection for girls and women in Africa.

Stay tuned...we will be announcing an initiative next week...it is going to be great!

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