Martine Moïse (Haiti)
Martine Moïse was born in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. She studied foreign languages at the Quisqueya University and married her classmate Jovenel Moïse. Together they left the capital, settled in Port-de-Paix to develop rural areas.
Together they started a ten hectares organic banana production, were involved in the setting up of a drinking water plant and Haiti’s first agricultural free trade zone.
The unstable and difficult political, economic and social situation in the country convinced the couple that he (based on his entrepreneurial and agricultural experience) has to enter politics. Nicknamed «banana man», he became President of the centre-right party «Tèt Kale». Martine supported his decision to stand as presidential candidate. Together, they promoted bio-ecological agriculture, universal education, health care, energy reform, rule of law, sustainable jobs, environmental protection, and the development of Haiti as a destination for ecotourism and agritourism.
After different elections, he was finally sworn-in 2017 as the country’s President and Martine became the First Lady. With her experience as entrepreneur, she used her new function to become a defender of human rights: education, health, gender equity and human trafficking. She assisted in the development of numerous hospitals and health centres, with particular attention to obstetric and neonatal care services as well in facilitating the care of children and pregnant women in difficulty. She also fought against violence against women and girls and became the President of the multisector coordination mechanism of the «Global Fund» for the treatment and eradication of HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
At the beginning of every academic year, she was arranging the distribution of school kits and shoes.
She created a foundation offering services to the most disadvantaged by (among others) setting-up projects, particularly in the field of crafts and organised a women’s production fair to provide a sales and visibility platform for female producers.
In cooperation with Fashion 4 Development, she created an international window for Haitian designers, artists, artisans and chefs by facilitating their participation in New York in an artistic exhibition during the General Assembly of the United Nations.
She empowered young people by organising training seminars on leadership, citizenship, personal development, sexual and reproductive health and first aid care.
She launched a program to protect mountainous areas by re-forestation.
To revive the coffee tradition, she set up a programme to plant two million coffee seedlings of different varieties.
On the night of 6 to 7 July 2021, she experienced the worst nightmare of her life. Their private residence was attacked by armed men, who killed her husband. With 22 bullets in her body, she survived – but her right hand will even after several surgical operations stay paralysed.
This event has not diminished her energy and determination.
Only six weeks later, the Hurricane Grace hit the country in the same time as an earthquake. Besides the more than two thousand killed and twelve thousand injured, an estimated 650,000 people were in need of assistance.
Martine, still convalescent, provided via her political structure «Gwoupman Angaje pou Demokrasi» assistance to the victims of the earthquake and the hurricane.
Since then, one of her key projects are training programs in Cité Soleil in non-formal basic education and training in creative arts.
Nevertheless, Martine continues to lead the fight that the jurisdiction will lead to concrete results to identify and punish the responsible of the attack. Despite her sorrow, she is considered in her country – and beyond – as a voice for peace, reconciliation, solidarity, social justice – and justice for the Haitian people.