Meet the Match

An Administrator Inspiring a Generation of Haitian Women

Marie Rivette was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She was the youngest of three girls. Her parents, whom she loved dearly, passed away when Marie was just a teenager. Marie used this loss as motivation for her life. “I had great parents and it was really difficult for me to lose them at a young age. But in many ways, it spurred me forward in my life; it forced me to get out there and to strive to be my best. I am thankful for the opportunity to be raised by very, very good parents and I live my life to honor their memory.”

During this difficult time, Marie found strength in her faith and through sports. She began playing volleyball and took on a leadership role within her church. She used her platforms in both to educate others on the beauty of life and taking advantage of the blessings around them. “I grew up in church, so the first thing I did when my mother passed was continue in church. I also continued in school and joined a local volleyball club. I took on leadership roles in both the club and my church and used my personal story of loss to encourage others to make the most of every second.”

Upon completing her secondary education, Marie went on to study at the local university, earning her degree in 2004 in Social Communications. The following year, Marie moved to Barbados to attend the University of the West Indies to study in the Institute for Gender and Development. After receiving her diploma, Marie worked for national NGOs as an advocate for women living in rural areas before moving back to Haiti to work as a consultant on issues of gender, equality, and women’s rights at the NGO Oxfam. At Oxfam, she quickly moved up the ladder where she was appointed Senior Project Manager for issues of Gender and Governance.

Things seemed to be headed in the right direction for Marie when tragedy struck again. In 2010, Haiti experienced one of the worst earthquakes in human history. The earthquake rang in at a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale, killing more than 220,000 people. Disease, displacement, and loss plagued the people of Haiti as they tried to make sense of this experience and rebuild their lives. As a Social Communications specialist, Marie was trained to interpret experiences such as this one and use the tools and resources available to influence public perception, to connect people, and to promote social change.

“When the earthquake happened, lots of people mobilized to give water and food. And right after a tragedy, that is absolutely necessary. But as the time drew on, this system of dependency became disempowering. I was concerned with this situation and the mindset of our people. Man cannot live only with food and water; they must also experience dignity. So I am working to ensure the rights of the people, specifically that the rights of women are in the center of the reconstruction process. Haitians are people that want to build their own future, to raise their own voice. In my role, I help mobilize, empower, and connect them to the right people so that we can work together to overcome the challenges we are facing still today.”

Marie believes sport can be a part of this solution. Through this mentorship program, Marie would like to create sports programs for the young people of Haiti. The programs would promote analytical skills in addition to the development of general life skills, with the ultimate goal of creating active and empowered citizens.

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