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Two years to the day of the devastating January 12 earthquake that struck Haiti, we honor those who lost their lives and are awed and inspired by the courage and commitment of those who are rebuilding their nation. In these last two years, the women of Femmes en DĢ©mocratie, Vital Voices local Haiti chapter, have been mobilizing women candidates, opening and expanding businesses, and contributing to critical reconstruction efforts. Visit the FED website to learn more about their critical work.

Ann-Valerie Milfort, a young entrepreneur who has been involved with Femmes en DĢ©mocratie for more than 10 years, wrote to us to express her feelings about the disastrous earthquake that remains a constant presence. 

Already two years…

Already two years… feels in my soul, heart and body like yesterday. 

Looking within my inner strength for the solutions to make that pain go away, trying to forget. 

As a pragmatic woman, usually easily adapting, but this palpable suffering leaves me with no solutions. 

I beg to wake up that morning when His voice will tell me:”It was just a nightmare; your loved ones, your neighbors, your people are alive.”

What would I give for it to never have happened? 

For my eyes to never have seen so much blood and limbs, my ear to never have heard the sound of pain and agony, my nose to never have smelled death, my hands to never have dug, carried and buried loved ones and perfect strangers?

What would I give to never have seen mothers and fathers cry the loss of children? 

Kids lose their innocence in front of death? 

Haitians to live in inhumane conditions? 

What would I give not to be the witness, of the women of Haiti on whom the weight of the society, the family always rested, now having the weight of cement and buildings on them? Fighting one more time an unfair battle…

What would I give? 

My life. 

Hope it would be enough. 

Written by Ann-Valerie Milfort, co-founder of Vital Voices’ chapter in Haiti: Femmes en DĢ©mocratie

Read more

Maria Bello in the Huffington Post: Two Years Later — Reimagining Haiti

Stephenie Foster in VV’s blog: On the Ground in Haiti

Alyse Nelson in VV’s blog: Women Rebuilding the Economy & Restoring Pride: Alyse travels to Miami to join our Haitian Chapter for WIP 2011

Femmes, CrĢ©ation & Production 2011 Trade Fair in PĢ©tion-Ville, Haiti