Victoria Yeghoyan - PROJECTS OF HOPE IN HAITI 


ADDRESS: 9515 Willow Ridge Rd. #2A Charlotte, NC 28210
PHONE:(704) 604-9241
Rev. Victoria Yeghoyan has been in and out of Haiti since her childhood when she lived for a few years in Haiti with her American Baptist missionary grandparents. After she was always eager to return to Haiti, whether for vacations or to do volunteer work several times as an adult, always in the north of Haiti.  In 1999, she was hired as a Mission Specialist for PC/USA, to work in Leogane, Haiti, which is in the south of Haiti. Her ministry now is as the Founder and Executive Director of Empower Haitian Women.

Who are The Progressive Women of Leogane?

In 1991, a group of Christian women gathered to pray and to envision their response to the problem of women who came to Leogane after having been raped and beaten during a time of serious political turmoil in the country. They committed themselves to helping the abused women. These women worked in the open-air market, and they joined together to help these new women get started in enterprise. From the formation of the group, to the present day, a critical characteristic of these women is to offer support and encourage-ment to each other, whether it be providing child care or sharing parenting tips, attending to the needs/expenses of a member in the hospital, sharing ideas and, in their words, becoming family to each other. Amazingly, in such a poor country, they are not competitors in the marketplace, but rather companions.
 Here is a partial list of some of their other activities:
  •  Going into the mountains, on foot, to be present as observers during elections
  • Going into the mountains, encouraging women to come to the hospital for gynecologic checkups and care
  • Meeting with other community groups (such as cane workers or banana growers), sharing their experiences, encouraging them to collaboration in the same way
  • Cleaning the town of Leogane for New Year’s Day and other special occasions
  • Caring for the elderly women in the community
  • Providing water during Rara, the big cultural event every year in Leogane
On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake. Members suffered grave losses during and after the earthquake on January 12, 2010. Family and friends, homes and their contents, financial assets, churches. All gone.
Nonetheless, the Progressive Women of Leogane remain a community witness to rebuilding, as well as continuing to be a family, offering support and encouragement to each other. They are still struggling to build back their small businesses, many still struggling with grief and trauma. And yet, still committed to attending meetings and being active in their communities.
The Mission of Empower Haitian Women is to support and encourage these women through fund-raising and other types of assistance (teaching them new skills, for example). Empower Haitian Women is committed to allowing these women to be self-determining.