Hurricane Matthew, a category four storm, whipped through the poorest country in the western hemisphere with 145 mph winds and 3 feet of rain earlier this October. The destruction, devastation and death toll left behind are all too reminiscent of Tropical Storm Fey, Hurricane Tomas, Ike Hanna and Gustav, all of which happened in Haiti in the last eight years. Extreme poverty, geographic location in the Caribbean, and lack of infrastructure in Haiti create the perfect storm for natural disasters. As Prosperity Catalyst looks to the future, it becomes evident that economic development is essential. Without a change to infrastructure and a decrease in poverty, it’s likely that each subsequent natural disaster will continue to leave Haiti devastated.
In Iraq, an army of Kurdish fighters, Sunni Arab tribesman, Shia paramilitary forces and Iraqi security personnel are currently attempting to liberate Mosul from the so-called Islamic State. The occupation of the jihadist soldiers has lasted over two years with Mosul the one remaining stronghold. Each day a new headline is released, encouraging or devastating, as the world watches with bated breath for the end of this occupation.
Why Do We Do It?
With Haiti and Iraq both in a state of upheaval, Prosperity Catalyst’s operations have been impacted and more importantly so have the lives of our women entrepreneurs, especially in Haiti. The beekeepers who produce wax for the Fanm Limye line have seen their farms devastated by Hurricane Matthew. Production continues, but we are also focusing on restoring what Matthew left behind. In a global economy that is suffering, why do we chose to work in areas of high political and environmental strife? Why don’t we work in other developing countries that aren’t on the brink of insurgencies or natural disasters?
More than anything, the regions where we work afford limited educational and economic opportunities for women. By opening pathways to economic opportunities, we can make a difference in the lives of women in Haiti and Iraq. Thanks to an amazing community of supporters (like you!), Prosperity Catalyst is able to work in areas that truly need it, among incredible women who inspire us every day, and for that, we thank you and look forward to continuing to work toward our vision of a world where all women have the opportunity, capacity and support to become powerful catalysts for social and economic change.