Michou Joissaint

Age: 22
Hometown: Bresilienne, Haiti
Lives In: Jacmel, Haiti
Junior Global Citizen Club, Edmonton, Alberta and Jacmel, Haiti*
Sant d’A Jacmel, Jacmel, Haiti
*ACGC Member

Girls and young women should be empowered to tell their stories and use art to express what is in their hearts.

I am a feminist, artist, seeker of stories, lycée student, and proud Haitian. The many challenges faced by women and girls in Haiti inspire my work. In my society, women are often regarded as inferior and girls and women are often mistreated both physically and emotionally. Our value is often limited to domestic roles: doing the cooking, the cleaning, and the laundry. The first time I ever saw a man cook or do laundry was in Edmonton! In Haiti, some parents do not see value in sending their girls to school. Opportunities for school, work, and the arts are primarily given to boys. When I was younger, I decided that I have two hands, two feet, and a brain so I can do whatever boys do. I believe that through arts and media, women and girls can be empowered to tell their stories, which have the capacity to erase borders, build awareness, and promote change.

Which SDG are you most passionate about?

SDG 5: Gender Equality. My work is inspired by the inequality that I see happening in daily life. The project My Life as a Girl, So Far spotlights the rest-avek issue, where rural children, usually girls, are forced to leave their homes to live with and work for wealthier families in the city. I am passionate about participating in the change towards more equal rights between women and men through creative expression and the full use of my talents.

What lesson can you share about building meaningful partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals?

In my experience in the arts, meaningful partnerships allow for the expression of stories of girls and women to be heard beyond borders. Through partnerships, Canadians can learn more about the Haitian experience and the lives of women and girls, and appreciate the creative and artistic talent of the country. My participation in the productions of the Junior Global Citizen Club—through illustration, photojournalism, interviews, and narration—has allowed me to share my story across boundaries while learning from the Canadian experience.



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