Haiti Allies - Haiti

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The mission of the incredible Haiti Allies is to help empower Haitians to better their lives and country through education, meal programs, adult literacy, and job creation.

Why Haiti?

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and has a long history of foreign occupation and accompanying exploitation of people and resources resulting in wide-spread poverty.

What do they do?

Haiti Allies embrace the spirit of the international cooperative movement. In their work they are guided by the following three principles:

1) Shared power – It is essential for Haitian organizations to have broad-based leadership, and not the familiar top-heavy organizational structure based on the control or charisma of one or two persons.

2) Financial Transparency and Accountability – All funds are tracked and accounted for systematically including standardized reporting of all monies received and spent

3) Sustainability – In all of their work they strive to break cycles of dependency and nurture long term viability.

Specifically, they focus on:

Cite Soleil Community School

Cite Soleil, a shanty town on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince is one of the poorest places in the world. Because of indescribable poverty and a high level of social unrest and violence brought on by prolonged desperation, Cite Soleil receives little in the way of foreign partnership efforts.

Very few schools exist in Cite Soleil and because parents in the community struggle to feed their children, many cannot afford the tuition needed to send them to school. As a result, countless children spend their days on the streets, often winding up in gangs.

Cite Soleil Community School (CSCS) is a tuition-free elementary and secondary school for students in the heart of Cite Soleil. CSCS is staffed by dedicated and capable Haitian educators who instruct the 200+ students enrolled in the school. Haiti Allies has been in partnership with CSCS since 1994.

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Haiti is a country where less than 50% of all children start school, and only 15% of the schools are publicly funded. CSCS focuses on the immediate task of feeding hungry children and the long-term goal of education and providing a sense of possibility for the future.

Since the earthquake of 2010, CSCS has been operating out of a temporary tarp-and-plywood structure. They dream of replacing this temporary structure with a permanent school building and community opportunity center.

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Sponsorship Program Aiding Relationships and Education (SPARE)

SPARE is a Haitian non-profit that seeks to foster relationships between U.S. based sponsors and secondary students in Haiti. It is the goal of SPARE to find sponsors for every CSCS graduate so that these students can continue their education through the university level.

In Haiti, the number of children who are able to enroll in secondary school is extremely low and even fewer students are able to attend university

Currently there are more than 45 students in the SPARE program. These students range from middle school to university level. One former SPARE graduate is now serving as the principal of CSCS.

Meal Program & Cite Soleil Art Center

Haiti Allies also provide funding for the meal program.  They are currently committed to providing 4 meals a week to the children in school.  They would love help meeting that ongoing commitment, and of course being able to feed the students all 5 days of the school week is a goal and a dream for them.

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Additionally, they continue to develop the Cite Soleil Art Center business at the school.  Here, yoga mat bags and shopping bags are made from local products, and most recently, beaded bracelets made from cereal boxes are created.  Specifically they need funds to expand their marketing efforts so that this business can succeed and meet its goals of making the school less dependent on outside help of any kind.

Growing the business which their Haitian partners own so that they have broken the cycles of dependency and have the dignity of self-sufficiency is really the most dignified and exciting way to make a profound change among the world’s most vulnerable people.

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Haiti Allies believe in the creativity and intelligence of the Haitian people. In all of their partnerships they invite and challenge their Haitian colleagues to embrace their full potential. They never do anything for a Haitian individual, organization or community that they cannot do for themselves.

They are committed to providing appropriate tools and training that will increase the capacity of their Haitian friends to meet their challenges. Their Haitian partners take the lead in determining what resources are needed to address their reality.

We are SO thrilled to be partnering with such an incredible, home grown movement making such a big difference, and we can’t wait to see what kind of difference we can make together.

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To learn more about Haiti Allies, visit: https://www.haitiallies.org

Their Facebook page

Cite Soleil Art Center:  www.csartcenter.com

Stefan Joseph