In the final week we invited the student volunteers to reflect and evaluate the campaign. We divided them into five groups and asked each group to prepare a presentation and followed these with a general discussion around the challenges they faced in carrying out the campaign and how we could possibly move forward. The students gave examples of their encounters during campaign walkabouts for example during the Bobin visit, one student reported being spat at and verbally assaulted by a male youth. However she said after the theatre presentation the man came to her and was deeply apologetic about his previous behavior and actually congratulated her and the group on the campaign saying he now understood and would try to do better in his relationship with women. One of the difficulties many reported was women asking for solutions such as where to seek help as victims of sexual and or domestic violence. The students did not have knowledge of any organization in Haiti that worked with victims of violence so this would need to be included in any future campaign. Food was also a cause for concern as when inviting people to come and watch the play, many men and women asked if there would be food, and since in Bobin and Jalousie we did not have food, they would not come to the theatre.
Students also reflected on possible causes behind domestic violence which they believed to be due primarily to poverty : poor housing, over crowding, lack of access to healthcare, food insecurity, lack of education and lack of access to support networks other than friends who were not always in a position to help. We did point out that domestic violence happened within rich homes as well but the students felt it could not be as bad since at least the women there would have access to food, shelter and privacy.
A number of the student volunteers mentioned their families being supportive of their work in the campaign and how they were now being consulted by people in their neighborhood around domestic and sexual violence. They therefore felt it was important to continue the campaign and for them to receive more education and training on how to support women victims of violence.
It is therefore unfortunate that Sopu Fanm Pou Fanm’s application to register with the Global Fund for Women was turned down which means it will be difficult for the group to continue with the campaign at least in the year ahead. This is a massive disappointment for all of us and we feel the rejection does not take into account the enthusiasm, the learning that took place and the commitment by all involved in this project.
On Friday 18th we invited people from the Morne Lazare community where SOPUDEP is located to attend our final event which consisted of two plays, entertainment from some of the students not involved in the campaign and the general public. The group performed their two plays which can be watched on video.
We want to thank AmplifyChange for their grant to carry out this campaign and hope that other funding opportunities can be found so we can continue this excellent and much needed campaign.