If she had it her way, Anne-Martine would never have to leave her hometown of Cap-Haitien – she would be able to attend university and study engineering there. In her HELP application essay, she wrote about the problem of centralization in Haiti, and the fact that more opportunities should be created outside the capital.
But pursuing her dream was Anne-Martine’s priority. Upon receiving a HELP scholarship, she moved to Port-au-Prince and started her engineering degree. After the January 2010 earthquake, her school was damaged, but she stayed in Port-au-Prince, and made the most of her time. She attended HELP’s English, Spanish, and leadership classes and met with a student mentor to review some of the more difficult subjects from last semester.
Anne-Martine was also part of a team of HELP students that assisted with a rape prevention and prosecution project in refugee camps in and around Port-au-Prince. One of the leaders of the study, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) commended Anne-Martine and her HELP colleagues for showing “the utmost professionalism, sensitivity and competence…allowing us to collect essential information for pursuing a legal response.” IJDH added, “In working with these young people, the benefits of your program and training were evident…They placed the women’s stories in a broader societal context with a deeper level of analysis than graduate students I have worked with in other settings. Your work is incredibly important for Haiti’s future, keep it up!” And Anne-Martine is doing just that.