In 2012, World Connect began working with the Center for the Arts in Siloe, a tent community in Port-au-Prince established after the 2010 earthquake and populated mostly by people who had lost their homes. Life in Siloe is grinding and difficult, and like many in Haiti its residents face poverty, a struggling economy, and a lack of access to basic necessities like water, sanitation, and health care. But it was the plight of adolescent girls, particularly vulnerable, which drove Ysmaille Jean-Baptiste to open the Center for the Arts in his home. He was committed to making sure girls in his adopted community who wished for better opportunity had a safe place to go, where they could learn skills such as photography, essay-writing, jewelry-making, English, and develop the confidence and security to believe in themselves, their goals, and their dreams, often for the first time ever.
The hope, optimism, fierce determination, gentleness, and kindness he exuded and the success he achieved stands in complete contrast to the senseless way in which he was killed on Friday, January 23, 2015. Robbed and murdered outside of his welding shop.
Please read our tribute to this incredible partner and about World Connect's commitment to continuing to advance social justice, especially for girls, in Haiti. A Saint in Siloe.