All hands together for this historic partnership for haiti. 

Social Business Day: Signing of MOU

Signing of MOU: Yunus Social Business Haiti S.A.*, Hope for Haiti and Dalio Foundation, Inc.

Dhaka, 28th June 2012, Social Business Day: Yunus Social Business Haiti S.A.*, Hope for Haiti and Dalio Foundation, Inc. sign a MOU with the goal to establish social business as a “business as usual” in Haiti.

All Hands Together for this Historic Partnership for Haiti. Signing the MOU.
All Hands Together for this Historic Partnership for Haiti. Signing the MOU.

Yunus Social Business Haiti S.A. (“YSB Haiti”), Hope for Haiti (HFH) and Dalio Foundation, Inc. have signed a MOU to form a strategic partnership toward helping to establish in Haiti social business as “business as usual” in tracking poverty and social challenges such as inadequate access to quality education, nutrition and healthcare for Haitian children and their families. YSB Haiti’s expertise in social business combined with HFH’s extensive inside knowledge into local Haitian communities, schools and healthcare centers can help facilitate the growth of sustainable businesses at a community level. Funds that are helping to make this partnership and project possible are provided by the Dalio Foundation, Inc.

Professor Muhammad Yunus Explains the Partnership.
Professor Muhammad Yunus Explains the Partnership.

The Partnership’s objective for each suitable business is to evolve the business model into a financially sustainable and social impact generating enterprise, a Social Business.

HFH and YSB Haiti expect to leverage their respective expertise and networks to support and build effective capacity over a 5-year strategic timeline.

* Grameen Creative Lab Haiti S.A. is currently undergoing a name change from Grameen Creative Lab Haiti S.A. to Yunus Social Business Haiti S.A. The name change should be fully effective by  the end of July.

Signatories for the MOU:

Prof. Muhammad Yunus; Yunus Social Business GmbH; Chairman
Kevin Ashley; Dalio Foundation, Inc.; Chief Investment Officer
Tiffany Kuehner; Hope for Haiti / Fondasyon Kuehner; President and CEO
Sophie Eisenmann; Yunus Social Business Haiti S.A. / GCL Haiti S.A.; Board of Directors
Claudine Francois; Yunus Social Business Haiti S.A. / GCL Haiti S.A.; Country Director

Program manager, paula prince, gives jewelry making a shot. 

Hope for Haiti Brings Art and Recreation to Rural Schools

Paula Prince, Program Manager, June 26, 2012

Most schools in Haiti have very few educational resources. Even basic schoolbooks are hard to come by. Hope for Haiti helps schools overcome this lack of access to resources in various ways.  Our Back to School fund, for example, helps Hope for Haiti’s 40 partner schools repair school furniture, purchase school supplies and complete small repairs to school structures each year before school begins. Our Bookshare Program helps ensure that all students in our 33 partner primary schools in the South have books in the core subjects of Math, Science, Social Studies, French and Creole. Likewise, our Teacher Trainings help equip educators with essential educational materials on proper lesson planning and good teaching methods.

Program Manager, Paula Prince, gives jewelry-making a shot. Some of the materials used to make the jewelry.
Program Manager, Paula Prince,
gives jewelry-making a shot.
Some of the materials used to make the jewelry.

Recently, Hope for Haiti expanded our efforts to help alleviate the problem of lack of resources and lack of creativity in Haiti’s classrooms by launching pilot art and recreation programs in two of our partner schools (thanks to the generosity of The Parsons Foundation). Both schools began a weekly soccer class and two weekly art classes. One of the schools started a class teaching its students to create jewelry from beads made of recycled paper. The other school started a class teaching its students to make handbags and other accessories from a type of straw called “pit” in Haitian Kreyòl. The classes serve as a great demonstration of the creativity and dedication of all teaching staff and students involved.

Student makes a necklace Student works on a necklace Some of the necklaces the students created Student cuts the strips of paper to make the beads.
Student makes
a necklace.
Student works
on a necklace.
Some of the necklaces
the students created.
Student cuts the strips of paper to make the beads.

Last week, I got the chance to attend and participate in the jewelry-making class. Students were all smiles as they created beautiful pieces of artwork.  When I arrived, there were two tables set up. At one table students used a paper cutter to slice cereal boxes into small strips that were then rolled into beads. At the second table, students thread the beads onto the elastic string to create the fine pieces of jewelry. Matline, preschool teacher during the regular school day, was the teacher for this particular class. Matline voiced great pride in her ability to teach the students something creative that can generate income for the school and build livelihoods for the students for years to come.

Look at the beautiful earrings they created! Students wear their artwork.
Look at the beautiful earrings they created! Students wear their artwork.

 

Bonne fete ise 3 ans! 

Hope for Haiti’s Infirmary Saint Etienne celebrates three years of service

Jennifer Lang, Program Manager – June 14, 2012

Hope for Haiti’s Infirmary Saint Etienne opened permanently in May 2009. Built out of a slaughterhouse, the Clinic originally hosted visiting medical professionals on missions to rural Haiti. The Les Cayes facility grew and developed in order to respond to the immense need of the local population. Our mission and vision with the Infirmary was to serve the poorest of the poor.  So many here lack access to quality healthcare, so we tried to step in and fill that gap.

 

 

Bonne fete ISE 3 ans! Janvier with his certificate of three years of service
Bonne fete ISE 3 ans! Janvier with his certificate
of three years of service

Today, the Infirmary has grown immensely. We now have sixteen Haitian staff members working full-time to serve over 7,000 patients per year. Our Healthcare Director, Dr. Steeve Victor, reflected on his time with Hope for Haiti in a recent meeting. After joining our team as a volunteer, Dr. Victor has been integral in the Infirmary’s success. “I.S.E. has really developed over the past three years. Even when I look at where we were a year ago, there has been so much growth and improvement.”

As the staff gathered to celebrate their work, we feasted on dinner and danced the night away to traditional Haitian konpas music. Hope for Haiti Chef and cooking school professor Carmene Alverbe baked two cakes for the team to enjoy. Five staff members were honored with certificates, acknowledging their dedication to the Clinic for the past three years.  To Dr. Steeve, Miss Fildor, Janvier, Luce, and Mary Marthe, as well as to our newer staff members, we thank you for your service!

 

Miss Pierrette and Janvier dancing Nurses Fildor and Daphnee dancing to the Kompas music
Miss Pierrette and Janvier dancing Nurses Fildor and Daphnee
dancing to the Kompas music

The entire team is excited about the next three-years of ISE. Upcoming projects include construction of a new sidewalk for increased access for persons with handicaps or injuries, installation of solar power as a model for sustainable energy, and expansion of the current Chronic Care program to include comprehensive educational seminars and group support for patients suffering from diabetes. Bonne fete I.S.E.!

Community members work hard to finish constructing a new school building 

Site Visit to Rural Community Highlights the Importance of Partnership

Paula Prince, Program Manager – June 12012

For 23 years, Hope for Haiti has built strong relationships with its program partners. Our partnership with one Parish, in particular, has evolved to include salary subsidies for two schools, a bookshare program, support for a doctor salary, and school improvements such as new benches for the school year. Last week , I conducted our biannual site visit to the seven partner schools and partner health facility that we support in the region of Côtes de Fer. Because of the treacherous mountain roads, the trip involves an overnight stay at the Parish of a small community.

Community members work hard to finish constructing a new school building School Director stands in front of the cloud covered school. School Director stands waiting as Hope for Haiti truck approaches the rural school.
Community members work hard to finish constructing a new school building School Director stands in front of the cloud covered school. School Director stands waiting as Hope for Haiti truck approaches the rural school.


The trip started off at 6:00am with a long 3.5 hour drive down harsh mountain roads to a rural community where, over the past year, Hope for Haiti teamed-up with buildOn and community members for the construction of two beautiful new school blocks.  When we arrived, community members were hard at work painting and putting the final touches on the second school block. After visiting neighboring schools in the mountain communities of Platon and Labiche, we headed to the Parish of Gris Gris, where the Parish head and deeply respected local community leader, welcomed us with a huge smile and a warm plate of rice and sauce pois  (black bean sauce).

The overnight stay in Gris Gris was quite an experience. Most rural towns in Haiti have no electricity and Gris Gris is no exception. For entertainment that evening we headed to the one restaurant in town that has a generator and a television. We joined community members who were huddled around the only television in Gris Gris watching konpa music videos.

Preschool student poses for a picture Preschool students work in a church that was severly damaged during the earthquake. Primary school student.
Preschool student
poses for a picture.
Preschool students work in a church that was severly damaged during the earthquake. Primary school student.


The second day began at 6:30am when we left the Parish of Gris Gris to visit the remaining schools that Hope for Haiti supports in the region. We first headed to a school, which is so high in the mountains, it oftentimes gets overrun by the clouds. The weather here is unstable and the school’s poorly patched together tin walls and ceiling do a poor job of shielding students from the elements.  After finishing all of our site visits, we stopped by the house of Hope for Haiti Support Team Manager & Cooking School Director, Carmen Alverbe’s family to say hello, before heading back to Les Cayes. The family filled our truck with gifts of black beans, corn, fruit and a live chicken.

Upon returning to Les Cayes, we were reminded of why partnerships are so incredibly important. Not only do we assess and try to help with the many needs of our program partners, but we also build strong and lasting relationships with the individuals and communities that we serve.