This article was published as part of #GivingTuesday's #WomenWhoGive series, which celebrates women who give back in their communities.

 

J/P Haitian Relief Organization’s Chief Executive Officer, Ann Young Lee, has been back and forth from Los Angeles to Haiti all year. She is driving our ongoing programs and leading new efforts in reforestation and Hurricane Matthew disaster response.

 

"The beauty of Haiti is in her people – they have heart. Their ability to determine their futures and to provide for their families is not just a human right; it is the pathway to a life of dignity. What motivates me most about working in Haiti is being able to support community members on this path." - Ann Lee
 

Hi, my name is Ann Young Lee and I am CEO of J/P Haitian Relief Organization.
 
Growing up I was the wild child. I always knew I would leave LA, but I never imagined myself working in Haiti, let alone falling in love with it. What I did know at a very early age, however, was that I had a deep sensitivity to injustice. This understanding remains fundamental to my vision and our work here in Haiti.
 
In 2016 we completed a number of phenomenal projects that will create stronger foundations for local communities to build on. 

This past November, I was walking through the razed streets of Sainte Helene as we were completing a housing assessment. While working on these assessments to triage communities for Hurricane Matthew damage, I met Darlene.

Darlene’s home lost its roof in the hurricane. Her family attempted to repair the structure but lacked the necessary materials and training. With the community, we completed these repairs for her, but what was most impactful were the words she spoke to me when she said, “thank you for walking by my house.” In a world that makes people like Darlene invisible, J/P HRO is working to empower each and every Haitian that we work with.