The Women’s Education Center serves to teach women in Haiti valuable life skills in order to support their families out of the cycle of poverty. This dream is coming into reality every day as women learn to read and write, sew, make jewelry, cook, and run their own businesses. It is our ultimate desire to see women discover their God-given talents and abilities and to know they are treasured themselves!
A Look at the Heartline Women’s Education Center
After a time of prayer and reflection, we began a small sewing school in 2007 with the hope that mothers would learn a trade and then begin to make money to provide for themselves and their families. It started with treadle sewing machines donated and shipped in from the States by friends. At first, there were just several ladies in a single sewing class with one teacher.
Over time, the educational opportunities expanded into a full Women’s Education Center that now offers courses in literacy, sewing, cooking, artisan skills, cosmetology, and computer/office skills. Over 200 women are currently enrolled in programs at the WEC.
It is amazing to see these ladies enter the program, grow in confidence, and watch them begin to feel a true sense of community and family as the year progresses. It is encouraging to see the commitment of the teachers as they speak into the lives of the ladies. The Women’s Education Center is run and taught by skilled Haitian professionals.
The Heartline Women’s Education Center is empowering women with literacy and job skills that enable them to start businesses, earn an income, pursue their dreams, and provide for their families.
Sponsorships allow these women to receive education and training that open the door for new opportunities, while experiencing community, Bible study, and fellowship that renew hope.
Heartline's mission is to intentionally walk alongside those in Haiti during their life journeys. We believe there is no better way to do that than to provide opportunities for our program participants to take ownership in their education. The WEC enables class sponsors to partner with these ladies in order to help them obtain their education. The program participants themselves pay for roughly 25% of the average costs of other top-level schools in Haiti. This is because of the support we receive from our sponsors and supporters. Heartline believes this partnership - the sharing of the costs for their own education - facilitates a win-win situation for long term professional and personal growth and accountability.
Many sewing school graduates have earned enough money to buy their own sewing machines and start their own businesses. Other graduates of the program have become sewing instructors, passing the skills they have learned onto other women in Haiti. We have even had participants design and create high-end wedding dresses.
The cooking school enables women to tap into different gifts and prepares them for employment in restaurants and resorts. Graduates can skillfully prepare a variety of French, American, and traditional Haitian cuisine.
Literacy allows the women to be able to read and understand prices at the store, contracts for their children to go to school, medicinal doses, messages from family and friends, and much more. Literacy Class participants have shared with us that the skills they learn also impact the lives of their children. One participant remarked how proud she was to be able to help her son with his homework and read the Bible to her daughter.
In addition to these life skills, many graduates speak of how the Women's Education Center has empowered them with confidence to take on the next step in their journey . "I don't know exactly what the future has for me, but I am ready to face it!" said one participant. "Without the program, I would not have had the confidence I needed to look for employment."