A Mother's courage: Emmanuella's pursuit of peace for her children in Haiti

Emmanuella, a single mother, and her four children, led a peaceful life in a suburb of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Like more than 360,000 people across the country, she had to flee her home due to the violence of armed gangs.

When she arrived at a displaced persons camp nearly a year ago, Emmanuella faced precarious living conditions. Water shortages were common, and children often fell ill, victims of infections due to the unsanitary environment.

Living in such conditions is a true nightmare. It's heartbreaking to see my children suffer like this, while my bed remains empty at home.

Despite these hardships, Emmanuella refuses to be discouraged. She is actively engaged in the water, sanitation and hygiene management committee at the camp. She benefited from training sessions provided by IOM to strengthen her skills in this crucial role.

Water quality testing session | IOM 2024

With dedication, she raises awareness among displaced persons about the importance of hygiene and actively participates in cleaning sessions. Emmanuella also oversees the treatment of water delivered by tanker trucks to the site, a vital mission for the health of displaced persons.

The assistance provided by IOM at this site has brought about significant change. We received healthcare, cleaning tools, hygiene kits, and other support that ease our difficult daily lives,

Emmanuella's children, now deprived of their fundamental right to education due to their precarious situation and insecurity, are at risk of illiteracy.

Emmanuella's greatest desire is to receive assistance to relocate, open a business, and enable her children to return to school.

Emmanuella and her family | IOM 2024
Emmanuella and her family | IOM 2024

I want to offer my children a better future, despite the obstacles that stand in our way.

Emmanuella embodies the strength and determination that drive Haitian women and men in their daily struggle for a better future. Her story demonstrates the importance of humanitarian aid in supporting the population affected by years of violence and brutality.

Haitian women, like Emmanuella, play an essential role in reconstruction and resilience. Their commitment to improving living conditions and their leadership should be a source of inspiration for all in the face of adversity.

IOM calls for funding for the 2024 Humanitarian Response Plan to support women like Emmanuella and their families in their struggle for a better future.

* Emmanuella is a pseudonym.