After the 2010 earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital, the YWCA Haiti opened the Youth Center, a safe space that started welcoming girls aged 8-17. This safe space offered firstly training on sexual and reproductive health, the environment, financial literacy, leadership, civic education, and gender-based violence, twice a week to girls coming from at-risk communities around Pétion-Ville. At the request of parents in the community who needed help with their children's education, an after-school program was added to the Youth Center, offering homework assistance services to school girls, basic literacy to out-of-school girls, access to a library and computer classes to all program participants.
Today the center is open to girls from the age of 5 and has so far assisted nearly 1,000 participants. When they turn 18 the YC participants have access to the LA program. Since 2018, more than twenty young women from the YC continued their training at the YH by integrating the LA program.
In order to strengthen its work with girls and young women, the YH also counts on the involvement of parents and men from the community. Once a month, workshops target parents of girls and partners of young women participating in YH programs. The aim of these workshops is not only to inform the community but also to make them understand the importance of empowering women and girls and show them how they can become allies and encourage female leadership.
The YH also provides psychosocial support to participants of both programs, helping them cope with trauma, family conflicts and referring them if necessary, to other support services.