Editors Note: A commitment to empower women is embedded in Heifer Internationals core values for sustainable development. In honor of International Womens Day on Thursday, March 8, this week were sharing the stories of Heifer participants who take the gifts of animals and training and run with them to extraordinary results for themselves and their communities. Through hard work and innovations, each woman secures her rightful place in the family, the marketplace and the world.
A refrigerator was hurtling toward Roseline Jean Pierre whenshe jettisoned her 7-day-old daughter Jessie out of the third floor of aPort-au-Prince apartment building during the 7.0 magnitude earthquake thatrocked Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010.
By the time Jessie was tossed into the hands of waitingneighbors, the third floor was more like a first floor, the two floors belowhaving already collapsed. Jessies 5-year-old sister made it next, followed byJean Pierre, who jumped just before the rest of the building collapsed intorubble.
God saved me, said Jean Pierre, sitting in a field in ruralHaiti a year and a half later.
After losing their home, Jean Pierre and her daughters fledsouthwest to Cance, where her fathers family is from. She received a gray andbrown calf in July as part of a Heifer partnership with the farmingorganization CAPAS.
She and her family are living in the farming organizationsoffice for now, but Jean Pierre plans to use the income from selling milk tobuy another cow and eventually hopes to earn enough to build a house.
Though shes a city girl at heart, shes adjusting to rurallife and will do whatever it takes to provide for her family. Resilience anddetermination saved her and her daughters once already. Her continued strengthin the face of adversity and change are an inspiration to women everywhere.
Story by Katya Cengel
Photo by Geoff Oliver Bugbee