TransforMe Ayiti was founded by Jadine Louissaint, a second-generation Haitian born and raised in the Miami area. Growing up in Miami during the 80’s, she experienced the stigma that was associated with her culture and ancestry, and felt that the way to escape from that social disadvantage was through education and a personally fulfilling career. Jadine obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2005 from the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies and became a Registered Nurse. She pursued and obtained a Healthcare MBA from the Chapman School of Business at Florida International University in the Fall of 2013. While enrolled in the program, she was afforded the opportunity to do research in China with emphasis on their healthcare system.
But it was not until mid-2015 that Jadine realized there was something missing from her life and began to seek God through prayer and fasting. It was then that God revealed his will and purpose for her life, and that was for her to not only embrace her culture and heritage for herself, but to seek to empower young women and girls of Haitian heritage to effect positive change in their country through spiritual, social and cultural avenues. Now just over a year later, they are pending 501C3 approval as they continue to pursue community partnerships and sponsorships.
TransforMe Ayiti (Transform Haiti) seeks to provide the next generation of women leaders and innovators tools for success with the completion of YOUnique Academy. They aim to inspire young women of Haitian descent to become change agents for the country through faith in Christ, education, cultural awareness, economic development and entrepreneurship.
The academy is designed to help the participants achieve this goal through forward thinking, and bring their innovative ideas to fruition in their parents’ native hometowns in Haiti. Many of these girls will learn and get assistance with résumé writing, interviews, effective communication and how to present themselves for personal and career advancement.
YOUnique Academy’s motto is “Embracing, Loving & Celebrating the best YOU every day!” With the “Y” representing Young, “O” representing Overcomers and “U” representing United, it reinforces that every girl is uniquely made. Together with other unique individuals, their impact is greater to overcome any obstacles that may present through the journey of life.
Their vision is to help Haiti become a self-sustained country, by investing in its most precious resource: the youth, specifically young women. Faithful women represent the foundation of what thriving communities can achieve once they understand their value and how they can be used effectively for God’s Kingdom. Their aspiration is to help young women develop faith in Christ, pursue education, become culturally aware and participate in Haiti’s economic growth and development by facilitating entrepreneurship.
TransforMe Ayiti celebrated its first year anniversary in the chosen pilot city of Leogane, Haiti. They conducted two “Who am I” workshops and gave book bags full of school supplies to each participant. They look forward to achieving their ultimate goal of building community centers in every major city in Haiti. Their partnership with Help Hospital and School of Nursing will set the tone for them to empower one mind, one life and city at a time.
YOUnique Academy is a mentoring program that incorporates hands-on and activity-based learning. The middle school curriculum will encompass the holistic view of self and what it will take for the students to be transformed into the change agents that every child has been afforded by Jesus Christ. Their goal is to tap into the idea at an early age, so as the development stages are occurring, they are challenged to think outside the box.
The first part of the curriculum explores the spiritual self and further solidifies that each individual was made to worship God and accomplish his purpose in her life with the unique gifts and talents that she possesses. The second part of the curriculum has emphasis on life and entrepreneurial skills that are needed to be productive citizens in society. The curriculum was developed by Aline, Rooveline and Jadine with emphasis on confidence-building, communication, decision-making, goal-setting, critical thinking, completion and presentation of a business model canvas of a social change project or entrepreneurial idea.
Lastly the third focus of the curriculum is about Haiti’s history. All of the components will have pre- and post-assessments, in-depth lesson plans, activities and application of what the participants will learn. The academy will run over a course of 37 weeks, mirroring the county school board calendar year. The workshops will start in the fall of each year and commence in the spring. The participants will meet every other Saturday from the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church that the participant’s family attends. The pilot program will be launching in the fall of 2017.
For more information about our initiatives, partnerships and workshops please visit www.TransformeAyiti.org.
Robert Woods has worked as an engineer at AECOM Technical Services and HBC Engineering, and is a published Christian author. He served as a full-time missionary in Les Cayes, Haiti for a year. He and his wife Marie, a Haitian national from Les Cayes, have served at CCFL. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.