In honor of International Women’s day on March 8th, we’ve decided to take the month of March to honor 410 Bridge women. Throughout the month, we’ll be adding more stories to celebrate and learn from women in 410 Bridge communities.
Join us on social media to share your story using the hashtag #410LadyBoss.
Photo: Myles Shank
Julia (Monarch Haiti)
Julia, 77, and her son used to walk hours along a dirt road to church every Sunday. Since then, they’ve founded a church in Monarch. Today, the church is thriving and is a hub in the community.
One of her favorite things about Monarch is the natural beauty of the fields where the community farms, but Julia explains that women face particular challenges: “Life is difficult in Haiti and women must do a lot of manual labor. Men do too, but that type of labor is more natural for them.”
Photo: Anna Hickey
Naomi (Kahuria Kenya)
Naomi serves on the Leadership Council in Kaihura, Kenya.
Four years ago, Naomi was fed up with the way men in her community were abusing alcohol. They’d spend all of the family’s money on liquor while their children went hungry. Naomi shared that they would sell things from their homes, even their children’s blankets, to buy alcohol.
Early one morning, Naomi and a group of women marched into town and tore down every bar using whatever tools they could find. To this day, none of the bars have reopened and the community continues to thank the women for helping reform the men of Kahuria.
Photo: Anna Hickey
Wadley (Port-au-Prince Haiti)
After Hurricane Matthew, Wadley traveled through the destruction by foot to deliver a message that brought life-saving relief by showing a barge where to land. In her words:
“They (The 410 Bridge Staff) asked me to bring a message to my father, he is the President of the Leadership Council in the community of Kalapa. The council was to send a boat the next morning to meet the people of The 410 Bridge, and to draw up a white flag with a red cross to allow a barge carrying first aid to be able to identify where it should land. The message was clear and simple, my mission was simple or at least appeared.”
As the night went by, walking through the debris became increasingly difficult.
“If it depended only on me, I would have made myself shelter in a house not too damaged but I had a message to carry to them. The road was long and hard but about 2 hours after crossing the river, we finally reached home. I greeted my parents and imparted the message entrusted to me.
We are all instruments in God’s hands… On behalf of my community, I thank you. A big thank you for being by our side in these hard times, either through your gifts or your prayers. I know God will surely bless you and use you.”
We’re in awe of Wadley’s courageousness and determination. You can read the full story in her words here.
We’ll be adding more stories throughout the month of March. Be sure to check back, and share yours on social media using the hashtag #410LadyBoss!
To learn about Freedom for Girls, a program which makes it possible for girls to stay in school and follow their dreams, visit our website here.