Helping Haitians help themselves

As we consider the rapid militarization underway in Haiti and the prospect of a long-lasting U.S. or U.N. military presence in the country, there is growing concern about supporting local Haitian organizations who could lead the nation into an independent recovery attentive to local needs. Below you will find a list of names and contacts for local organizations that support community development to meet community needs. Please consider them if you are interested in contributing to the rebuilding of Port-au-Prince, but not necessarily through international ngos.

Lambi Fund of Haiti
The Lambi Fund’s mission is to assist the popular, democratic movement in Haiti. Its goal is to help strengthen civil society as a necessary foundation of democracy and development.

Cine Institute of Jacmel
Jacmel is the southern town my paternal grandfather’s from and has also been very badly hit by the earthquake. The Cine Institute, and its International Film Festival are some of the most exciting developments in Haiti’s cultural scene in years.
Ciné Institute provides Haitian youth with film education and edutainment, technical training, and media related micro enterprise opportunities. We integrate educational film screenings into classrooms of public schools, train aspiring filmmakers in all aspects of production, and develop and produce films of all kinds in partnership with our students and graduates.

Fonkoze is Haiti’s Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor. They are the largest micro-finance institution offering a full range of financial services to the rural-based poor in Haiti.


FOKAL’s seeks:
To Promote 
the structures necessary to establish a just and durable democratic society, based on individual and collective autonomy and responsibility;

To Support the autonomy of individuals, critical spirit, clear judgment, sense of responsibility, initiative, creativity and free cooperation through education, training and communication;

To Reinforce the organizational processes which promote within groups the power of discrimination, the acquiring, sharing and comparing of knowledge and know-how necessary for an active participation in the democratic administration of public affairs and the flourishing of social, cultural and community life.

Veterimed’s award-winning animal husbandry projects have set new standards for development work in Haiti, most successful of these being its Let Agogo product, which markets Haitian dairy at a scale heretofore impossible for small-scale producers to reach.

Haiti Soleil / Bibliotheque du Soleil
Haiti Soleil is a nonprofit corporation based in Berkeley, California. Haiti Soleil is founded on the belief that to bring about social change in Haiti, the country needs to empower young people by giving them access to safe nurturing spaces, and providing them with opportunities for intellectual exchange and creative expression.

These are organizations that have a mostly Haitian leadership and staff, and work on a range of issues: economic development, arts and culture, social justice organizing, women’s rights, etc.

Also, considering that we are expecting high levels of outmigration from the capital to surrounding towns and other major cities like Cap-Haitien, you could also consider the following:

Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti.

Konbit Sante
Started in 2000, Konbit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership is a Maine-based volunteer partnership to save lives and improve health care in northern Haiti. Rather than developing a second, parallel health system, Konbit Sante works with the Haitian Ministry of Health and with Haitian colleagues to build capacity within the public system for Haitians to care for Haitians.

The Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG) helps individuals and communities get affordable and environmentally sound access to electricity, sanitation and clean water.  Through a combination of business incubation, education, and outreach, we help people get technology that will better their health and improve their lives.

I am grateful to my former student Rachel Elfenbein for sending this information.

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