She is a grandmother. She is independent. She is capable.

She is independent

In autumn 2016, Hurricane Matthew bore down on Haiti and caused massive devastation – hitting communities that were only just recovering from the infamous 2010 earthquake.

Jeanba lives fairly close to the access road in the area of Bourdet, in L’ Asile. She used to live in a traditionally built house, adjacent to her daughter who has a home built with concrete blocks.

In all, she has had 12 children, but five of them have died – leaving her with seven.

The hurricane completely destroyed her home, forcing her to seek refuge with her daughter’s family. The roof on this building stayed on, but parts of the walls began to fall in.

The whole family was scared, but Jeanba told them not to worry.

Things were complicated somewhat when her daughter began to go into labor. That night she witnessed her ninth grandchild, Micela, come into the world.

Jeanba with water filter and carrier

Jeanba was given a shelter kit with tools, a water filter, solar lamp, mosquito nets, and a water carrier. All of these items were useful as she had lost most of her possessions.

She proudly showed us the water filter and it was clear that it was still being used. She told of how she collected water from the river, and that the filter made it safe to drink.

By combining the Shelter Kit with remnants of her old home, Jeanba was able to construct a shelter on the site of her old house.

This enabled her to move out of her daughter’s house and live on her own once more. Gaining independence again was very important for Jeanba.


Read more stories from inspiring women around the world and learn how you can help support them.