As part of our mission to support and promote development without dependency around the world and improve quality of life for the people of La Gonave, Haiti, we have begun offering a new and exciting opportunity to women on the island. We have begun offering motorcycle classes to young women interested in learning how to ride, and the response has been overwhelming. A lot more women than we had expected came out to register for our first course, so we are looking to scale the program and make it more permanent.
Independence and opportunity are what many of the young women on La Gonave are looking for. Very few women on La Gonave ride their own motorcycles, but those who do talk about the independence and the opportunities doing so has brought them.
Ms. Freda Catheus, a well-known leader on the island is teaming up with a member of our staff, Ms. Monica St. Juste, to provide classes and teach interested young women on the island how to ride a motorcycle. Both women were amongst the first women on La Gonave to learn how to ride. At a women’s leadership event we organized in March of this year, Ms. Catheus shared with attendees how she had grown up watching only men travel around the island by motorcycle. She recognized the freedom it gave them and the opportunities being able to get around the island more easily and quickly opened up for them. Despite never having seen a woman ride around town on a motorcycle by herself before, Ms. Catheus learned how to ride, got herself a job, and now drives herself all over the island as a Program Coordinator with the international organization Beyond Borders.
Roots of Development is excited to finance this initiative and to offer more women on La Gonave the opportunity to learn how to ride a motorcycle. We look forward to seeing the results and the achievements made by these women in the future.