Program posted by: Haitian American Caucus
Posted on: September 27, 2012
After the devastating earthquake of January 12th 2010, the Haitian American Caucus expanded its efforts in Haiti to promote community development by offering programs in women's empowerment, agriculture, micro finance, and after school education. HAC-Haiti is working to bring about long term, sustainable development solutions for the people of Haiti. Our community development programs seek to provide the tools, skills, and venue for individuals to take control of their destiny. We believe that by educationally, economically, and socially, empowering women, children, and families we can create strength that will build a better Haiti.
We are a grassroots organization that depends on volunteers to promote, maintain, and expand our programs in Haiti. Our programs in Haiti accept individual volunteers on a rolling basis. In addition, we offer several unpaid internships and serve as a study abroad location for universities throughout the United States.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to work in various fields including:
Community Garden, Tree Nursery and Seed Bank: In an effort to facilitate economic development, HAC is providing capacity building for local farmers in a variety of ways. Farmers now have access to improved farming techniques that yield higher outputs on their crops. We are also building a tree nursery and community garden to provide subsidized plants to give them an edge on gaining access to the global marketplace.
Haiti's streets are filled with the evidence of the entrepreneurial spirit. HAC is capitalizing on this already present interest in entrepreneurship and providing resources to help business owners grow viable, sustainable businesses. HAC-Haiti was officially registered as a micro financing institution under Asosyasyon Fon Pam in 2011. Our first loans were disbursed in May of the same year and we are rapidly growing from around 25 borrowers to over 910 in three cities throughout Haiti. The program currently offers four major lending programs and one savings program. There are several items of the Asosyasyon Fon Pam Program that need to quantitative research so that more information is available in order to accurately assess the program and make appropriate changes. Volunteers can help contribute to that research in addition to helping with monitoring and evaluation, tracking, conducting site visits, and collecting field data.
The Haitian American Caucus has begun a project to provide interested families that display need with a pregnant female goat. In order to sustain the project, exponentially expand its effects and give families the opportunity to become donors themselves, HAC facilitates the "gifting" of a female goat. After the first offspring, the owner of the goat will give one a kid back to HAC to sustain the project and one to another community family who will start the same process. We need volunteers experienced in animal husbandry to help expand and sustain this program. In addition we are looking for volunteers who can assist in the construction of a goat pen to house the goats gifted back into the program.
Community English Courses
Haiti's proximity to the United States and the prominence of English in global markets is making English proficiency an attractive quality to prospective employers in Haiti. After many in the Croix-des-Bouquets area displayed interest in learning English, HAC started six English courses ranging from beginner to advanced. When they complete the course students receive certification, to confirm their fluency to prospective employers. The English program is curriculum based, with daily lessons focusing on grammar and communication, through the use of books, worksheets, and multimedia. HAC-Haiti seeks qualified English language volunteers to work with our English Program students. Volunteers assist the English Program staff in planning lessons, teaching courses, proctoring tests, quizzes, and placement exams.
Primary School Education is the foundation on which communities and nations can develop. In Haiti, over 90% of primary schools are private and require their students to pay tuition, books, and uniform costs. The result is that families are often forced to choose which children to send to school and many students miss out on months or even years of education when their family is unable to pay. HAC is supporting Ecole Shalom in Michaud, a small community in Croix-des-Bouquets, to help provide quality education for all children, regardless of their parents' ability to pay. This school was established in 2003 and has 250 students for the 2012-2013 school year. Volunteers can help assist teaching in the classroom, teaching curriculum based English courses, and helping run the afterschool program with classes in computers, photography, art, dance, music, and sports.
Teachers' Summer Institute
There is a huge shortage in Haiti of teachers that have adequate training to prepare them for the difficult task of teaching several subjects to a large group of children of various ages. The Haitian American Caucus recognizes this injustice began an annual Teachers Summer Institute. During this week-long program, teachers from around the area, and eventually the country, participate in workshops and seminars on innovative and interactive teaching methods and related issues such as classroom management and positive reinforcement. Presenters are education experts from the US and Haiti, with a large number of Haitian-Americans. The teachers can then take these new ideas back to their schools and literally thousands of students benefit from an improved classroom atmosphere and teaching methods.
The Women's Empowerment project came about on March 8th 2011 which was International Women's Day. HAC decided to celebrate the women of the community through song, encouragement and sharing a meal. During this event, community women decided to begin meeting once a week to discuss various issues and socialize. Personal development and livelihood classes such as sewing, embroidery, crochet, and English classes. The ladies also formed a committee to help them better achieve their goals and where they receive public health and community based trainings.
After the devastating earthquake of January 12TH, 2010, HAC placed a high priority on recruiting volunteers to help build structurally sound and maintainable facilities to house our activities. Our programs are focused on providing community members with the tools and skills necessary to bring self-sustainable solutions the town of Michaud. Volunteers assisting in our ongoing construction projects will play a role in creating the infrastructure that helps facilitate opportunities for women and children in our community. We are focused on creating the space and providing the tools for professional development and advanced learning to occur. By providing that space we believe our community will become empowered to take control of their own destiny.
Community Change and Public Health
HAC-Haiti's Forum for Community Change and Public Health program is a new initiative aimed at letting volunteers and interns assess various issues existing in the community. These issues range from poor hygiene in the marketplace, women's health, infant and maternal health, to planning medical clinics in the community. Once an issue is identified by a volunteer or intern during their term of service in Haiti, a proposal is written seeking possible solutions. Once this proposal is approved and edited by HAC-Haiti staff, it is published on HAC-Haiti's website allowing for public access. Individuals from all disciplines are encouraged to respond to these proposals with solutions that could be implemented in the community. In this way, this initiative helps the community through potential long-term solutions to identified issues, and it gives the volunteer or intern public exposure in the global non-profit setting.
Volunteers are expected to pay an accommodation fee which goes toward their room and board at HAC-Haiti
Accommodation fee includes:
- Transportation to and from the Airport and the HAC compound in Haiti - Lodging ( bunk-bed, single bed) - All Meals in Haiti (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) - Clean drinking water - Security in the compound. -Wireless internet access
The current accommodation fee is $40 USD per day.
Excursions are also available to explore new and exciting aspects of Haiti. Volunteers have the opportunity to travel to: Kenscoff and go hiking in the mountains
Take a tour of Port au Prince
Travel to the beaches and islands of Les Cayes
Visit the waterfalls of Jacmel in the south
Beach trip in the north