Many of the people who work on Concern programs don’t actually work for Concern, but rather for local partner organisations. Jasmine Augustin is employed by JEDe, a Haitian organisation dedicated to the protection and development of children at risk.
Growing up in the Fontamara neighborhood of Port au Prince, Jasmine spent a lot of time in the community library, reading and learning. In fact, she spent so much time there that the manager eventually assigned her the task of reading aloud with local children and leading them in educational games. It was not something she could ever have imagined as becoming a life mission. “Back then, I didn’t know what commitment was — it was just something I did.”
Nearly two decades later, Jasmine is today part of a grassroots movement to engage and inform Haitian youth in some of the capital’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. The opportunities for young people to go astray are many, and too often they drift into a life of petty crime or fall victim to exploitation and abuse. “I see us as a light for the children,” she says.
JEDe develops programs that use role-play, games, and communal activities to help young people understand the importance of respect for themselves and others — and to know their own rights and responsibilities. As an Animatuer, Jasmine is constantly interacting with those who will define the future of Haiti, a mission that drives her forward every day. She is hopeful for that future. “It’s because we need a better tomorrow that we do this work. We want to engage at 100%.”