Empowering Haiti’s most vulnerable
girls to live healthy lives free from violence

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Kimberly Agnew

Kim is a supporter and board member of numerous non-profit organizations that provide support to victims of domestic violence and life skills training to at-risk youth, particularly victims of sex trafficking and slavery. She is a founding board member of the Agnew Family Foundation, a private foundation gifting to organizations that enhance the lives of children. She is also an emeritus board member and long-time supporter of Portland’s Classic Wines Auction, which benefits women, children and family charities.

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The Issue

In Haiti, girls frequently experience physical, sexual, and psychological violence, particularly sex workers, street children, and domestic workers.

Unable to provide for themselves, many of these girls are abused, stigmatized, and exploited. They are often forced into begging and commercial sex work to survive, increasing their vulnerability to HIV, early pregnancy, sexual violence, and poor health. Most of these girls have nowhere to turn. They lack the agency to advocate for themselves or seek health services.

Pilot And Learn

This project explores how best to create a network of support for vulnerable girls that holistically addresses their psychosocial, legal, and health needs - including expanding their contraception options so they can choose when and whether they have children.

With a focus on restavèks (unpaid child domestic workers), street children, and sex workers, PSI is seeking to transform gender norms through an innovative youth empowerment program, to increase access to affordable reproductive health products – including launching a new emergency contraceptive product – and to build a network of support services for girls who experience violence. This project offers the tools, resources, knowledge, and support that will help vulnerable girls face these unique social and health challenges.

Leverage And Scale

There are few successful models globally that holistically meet the needs of vulnerable girls, which leaves a gap open for a new approach with global relevance and impact.

This pilot will generate important lessons on how best to link vulnerable girls to reproductive health and support services and how to work with youth to transform harmful gender norms that perpetuate a cycle of violence and poverty. This evidence can be used to inform other programs implemented by PSI and other partners across Haiti, the region, and globally.