Haiti Donor Spotlight: Omega Phi Beta Sorority Binghamton

Sisters of Omega Phi Beta pose with members of the Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, which won the stroll competition.

Sisters of Omega Phi Beta pose with members of the Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, which won the stroll competition.

Students at SUNY Binghamton are dancing for charity. Last month, the university's Omega Phi Beta Sorority collaborated with the Haitian Student Association to hold the ninth annual “Strolling for a Cause" fundraising event. Proceeds went to the Pan American Development Foundation's relief efforts in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew.

"We feel strongly about giving back to our community in the Binghamton area but also outside of our community," says Maritza Minchala, president of the Delta Chapter of Omega Phi Beta Sorority.

"We really appreciate the work PADF participates in. This motivated us to go above and beyond to make this event a success."

As part of the event, fraternities and sororities perform a “stroll," a dance that shows unity among Greek organizations, Maritza explains.

The group raised nearly $900 for Haiti. Proceeds mainly came from the $3 entrance fee at the event. 

PADF is providing humanitarian aid to communities in Southwest Haiti affected by hurricane Matthew. To date, the Foundation has delivered hygiene kits, emergency food kits, bottled water and water purification tablets to more than 23,000 people.

"We really hope that our donation will help out in any way possible," Maritza says.

PADF is grateful for the commitment, passion and support of our donors. Do you have a fundraising story? E-mail us at connect@padf.org.

Sisters of Omega Phi Beta Sorority with members of the Haitian Student Association, Binghamton University - SUNY.

Sisters of Omega Phi Beta Sorority with members of the Haitian Student Association, Binghamton University - SUNY.

Maritza Minchala, president of Omega Phi Beta Sorority (left) and Chelsea Lindor, president of the Haitian Student Association. kick off the show.

Maritza Minchala, president of Omega Phi Beta Sorority (left) and Chelsea Lindor, president of the Haitian Student Association. kick off the show.

Program to Raise Awareness about Gender Based Violence in Bahamas

U.S. Government Funds Conferences, Grants to Combat Violence Against Women

Freeport, Grand Bahama (November 29, 2016) — With funding from the U.S. Government, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is launching a women’s initiative for non-violence in the Bahamas.                          

Gender based violence “constitutes a major public health issue” in the Bahamas, according to a 2015 report published by the Bahamas Ministry of Social Services and Community Development. Three Caribbean countries have among the highest recorded incidents of rape in the world: The Bahamas, followed by St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Jamaica, the report states.

The Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND) seeks to improve the capacity of law enforcement, the justice sector and communities to respond to and prevent gender based violence in the Bahamas. The initiative aims to raise awareness and share information and best practices among agencies in order to better address this issue.

PADF will host four conferences around the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW), observed on November 25.

The first WIND conference will be held in Freeport, Grand Bahama on November 29, followed by a conference in Nassau, New Providence, on December 1. Additional events will be held in Marsh Harbour, Abaco (Dec 2); and Knowles, Cat Island (Dec 2). 

“The key to combatting gender-based violence is to bring it out into the open,” says Liza Mantilla, Director of Disaster Management of PADF. “The first step is awareness. In order to tackle the problem head-on, we need to talk about it. Together, we can find ways that communities can work together to react appropriately when it occurs, but also to prevent it from happening.”

This year’s United Nations observance highlights the need for funding for initiatives that prevent and end gender-based violence. According to the UN’s UNiTE campaign, adequate funding is essential to bring “real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.”

With support from the U.S. Government, WIND will also provide financial support through grants to nonprofits in the Bahamas to strengthen their programing

“Violence against women is a global problem,” says a U.S. EMBASSY Spokesperson. “Our hope is that through WIND events, stakeholders will receive the tools needed to take the message of prevention back to their own communities. We are also committed to supporting nonprofits in the Bahamas that are already carrying out the important work of violence prevention and to provide them with the information needed to succeed and grow.”

All events are free. Registration required. To participate, e-mail wind@padf.org. 

Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND) Conference Schedule: 

Freeport, Grand Bahama
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Cornelius A. Smith
Mall Drive

Nassau, New Providence
Thursday, December 1, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Grace Community Church Herbert L. Treco
Fellowship & Hospitality Centre
21 Grace Avenue, Palmetto Village
(Off Marathon Road)

Marsh Harbour, Abaco
Friday, December 2, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Burial Society
Dundas Town 

Knowles, Cat Island
Friday, December 2, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Media Center
Knowles Village 

Documentary Follows Youth in Trinidad

"East Port of Spain isa country within a country," says Inspector Elvin Reid. "It is just different."

The city's main problem is homicides, says Reid, a member of the Inter Agency Task Force, a division of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.

"Most of our homicides are gang related. We have two active gangs in our area of operation. And all this has come about because of what we have called border wars. If you cross the border you can die. You’ll be shot, you’ll be killed."

In the midst of all of this is Ryan Assing, a high school student who wants to work hard and make his parents proud. "I just want to be somebody in life," he says. He faces numerous challenges because of the neighborhood he lives in including finding transportation to school. Taxi drivers are hesitant to visit his area, fearful of gang violence.

A member of the Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force, Ryan goes to drill formation after school every day to lead the band in practice.

"What I want to do after school is join the Coast Guard or Fire Service anything to do with right now to do with protect and serve for the country that is my goal."

Ryan participates in the Resistance and Prevention Program (RAPP), which is funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and implemented by PADF. RAPP seeks to engage communities. The program reaches out to police officers, social workers, government officials, parents and youth themselves in order to tackle the root causes of crime.

"It’s all preventing the younger ones from getting into this position of dealing with crime. If this program reach big, which it will reach big, it will help out a lot because we're looking at the younger ones' future."


PADF Annual Board Meeting

Washington, D.C. (November 15, 2016) – The Pan American Development Development Foundation (PADF) held it’s 55th annual meeting of its board of trustees. The meeting was opened by Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) and Vice Chair of the PADF Board of Trustees.

Amb. Mendez recognized Luis Ubiñas, President of the board, the rest of the trustees, as well as PADF Executive Director John Sanbrailo, for their leadership in steering the work of the Foundation.

“PADF remains one of the OAS’ most important partners in the area of disaster management and its work has been well recognized throughout the Hemisphere,” Amb. Mendez said.

PADF was established by the OAS more than a half a century ago to assist disadvantaged communities and mobilize private-sector support for community-based initiatives.

“For 55 years, PADF’s unique calling has allowed us to reach tens of millions of disadvantaged people, expressing to them the solidarity of the OAS and Inter-American System,” said Luis Ubiñas, President of the board. “PADF has strengthened hundreds of civil society groups, community organizations, neighborhood associations and municipalities and partnered with public and private donors to reach the most vulnerable and excluded populations in the Americas.”

In 2016, PADF’s programs reached more than 40 million vulnerable and excluded people in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Foundation achieved the largest program in its history, winning more than $100 million in new grants.

PADF also responded to two major natural disasters: the April 16 earthquake in Ecuador and last month’s Hurricane Mathew in the Caribbean and the United States, which both caused profound damages and deaths. Following these disasters, PADF and partners mobilized to respond to the needs of affected countries, providing urgently-needed supplies, clean water, social support and emergency shelter.

Mendez pointed out that PADF is a “great OAS success story, especially in the area of encouraging public-private partnerships.”

He encouraged the board of trustees and staff to continue to forge innovative partnerships, in order to mobilize our resources and respond to the needs of the peoples of the Americas.

Video 360: New Public Space Unveiled in Delmas 32 Haiti

A 360-degree tour of the brand new amphitheatre and basketball court in Delmas 32, a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 

It's part of PADF’s Urban Project for Participatory Development program (PRODEPUR), financed by the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank in partnership with Haiti’s Bureau of Monetization of Development Aid Programs (BMPAD).


PADF y Taiwán Anuncian un nuevo proyecto de gestión de riesgo en Guatemala

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La Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (PADF, por sus siglas en inglés) la República de China (Taiwán) anuncian un nuevo proyecto de gestión de riesgo que beneficiará a miles de personas viviendo en comunidades vulnerables en laderas urbanas de Guatemala.  

Financiado por la República de China (Taiwán), el proyecto “Yo Me Preparo” beneficiará a 5.000 personas en la municipalidad de Mixco, Guatemala. Ubicada al noroeste de la Ciudad de Guatemala, los residentes de Mixco están expuestos a múltiples riesgos naturales incluyendo deslizamientos, derrumbes, inundaciones y terremotos.  

Esta iniciativa de un año reunirá a diferentes grupos de la comunidad junto con autoridades gubernamentales y universidades, así como con el sector privado, para promover la resiliencia de las comunidades y la adaptación al cambio climático. PADF proveerá la capacitación, asesoría técnica y equipamiento para fortalecer la organización comunitaria, el intercambio de información y buenas prácticas y la capacidad local de preparación y respuesta ante los desastres. 

En conjunto con los miembros de la comunidad y de las autoridades municipales, PADF evaluará y fortalecerá los sistemas de alerta temprana (SAT) e identificará estrategias para reducirla vulnerabilidad. PADF apoyará las prioridades de desarrollo local al implementar proyectos de pequeña escala para la mitigación de desastres. PADF organizará talleres que facilitarán el intercambio de lecciones aprendidas y mejores prácticas para la reducción de riesgos de desastres en la Ciudad de Guatemala y El Salvador, con la participación de gobiernos nacionales y municipales y las comunidades.

“Taiwán se complace en apoyar a la comunidad internacional en sus esfuerzos por adaptarse al cambio climático y responder a los desastres naturales”, dijo John Lai, Embajador de Taiwán ante Guatemala. “Es nuestra esperanza que, a través de la preparación cuidadosa, podamos salvar vidas”.

El Salvador y Guatemala se encuentran en el cuarto y quinto lugar, respectivamente, con respecto a los riesgos económicos como consecuencia de amenazas tales como inundaciones, derrumbes y terremotos. La alta densidad poblacional, deforestación y degradación de la tierra también contribuyen al considerable nivel de vulnerabilidad.  Las tormentas, derrumbes e inundaciones fueron responsables de más del 90 por ciento de las fatalidades ligadas a desastres naturales en Guatemala entre 1990 y el 2014.

“PADF está muy emocionado de extender su colaboración con Taiwán para proveer las herramientas y capacitación que harán a las comunidades menos vulnerables a los desastres naturales”, afirmó Lucía España, Gerente Técnica de PADF Guatemala.

 Desde el 2012, PADF y Taiwán han colaborado en países a lo largo de la región en la atención de emergencias y desastres naturales. El Fondo Taiwán–PADF para la Atención y Reconstrucción ante los Desastres ha sido una alianza de cinco años para fomentar programas de preparación y mitigación. Han sido desarrollados proyectos de preparación para desastres de origen natural con enfoque comunitario en Haití, República Dominicana, Honduras, San Vicente y las Granadinas y Belice. El Fondo de Atención y Reconstrucción ante los Desastres ha asistido a más de 300.000 personas en América Latina y el Caribe.

PADF, Taiwan Launch Disaster Risk Reduction Project in Guatemala

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The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and Taiwan announce a new disaster risk reduction project that will benefit thousands of people living in vulnerable hillside communities in Guatemala.

Funded by Taiwan, the project “Yo Me Preparo” (I’m Getting Prepared) will benefit 5,000 people in the municipality of Mixco, Guatemala. Located just northwest of Guatemala City, residents in Mixco are exposed to multiple natural hazards, including floods, landslides and earthquakes. 

This one-year initiative brings together community stakeholders, government authorities, and universities, as well as private sector actors, to encourage climate change adaptation and increase community resilience in the face of disaster events. PADF will provide training and equipment to organize neighborhood-based disaster preparedness and response teams.   

By working with community members and municipal authorities PADF will also evaluate and strengthen early warning systems and identify strategies to reduce the impacts of disasters. PADF will support local development priorities by implementing small-scale disaster mitigation infrastructure projects such as paved walkways, drainage canals, and evacuation route signage. PADF will organize workshops in Guatemala and San Salvador, El Salvador, that will facilitate the exchange of lessons learned and best practices for disaster risk reduction among national and municipal governments and the communities they serve.  

“Taiwan is pleased to support the international community in adapting to climate change and responding to natural disasters,” says John Lai, Ambassador of Taiwan to Guatemala. “It is our hope that through careful preparation, we can save lives. 

El Salvador and Guatemala rank fourth and fifth worldwide in economic risks due to hazards including floods, landslides and earthquakes. High population density, deforestation, and land degradation also contribute to the widespread vulnerability. Storms, landslides and floods were responsible for more than 90 percent of disaster-related fatalities in Guatemala between 1990 and 2014.  

“PADF is excited to expand its partnership with Taiwan to provide the tools and training that will make communities less vulnerable to hazards,” says Lucia España, Technical Lead for PADF Guatemala.

Since 2012, PADF and Taiwan have been collaborating with countries throughout the region to address emergencies and natural disasters. The Taiwan-PADF Disaster Assistance and Reconstruction Fund is a five-year partnership to foster preparedness and mitigation programs. Community-based disaster preparedness projects have been carried out in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Belize. The Disaster Assistance and Reconstruction Fund has delivered assistance to over 300,000 people in Latin America & the Caribbean.

After Matthew: A Mother in Camp Perrin

Photos: Carmelie Montuma

Marie Vanité is a single mother of four children in Camp Perrin, southern Haiti. Before Hurricane Matthew she was struggling to make ends meet. Her husband left her when she was pregnant with her eldest child, who is 16 years old. Her small, two-bedroom home was destroyed in Hurricane Matthew. 

While running away from her house to escape the hurricane, Marie was hit by a piece of flying debris a metal sheet and cut her hand.  She has been a washer woman for the past 26 years. Lately she isn't able to work because of the injury.

“My life is over," she told PADF. "My hands are all I had to feed my kids and provide them with the little that I could, but it’s all over now.  We are all sleeping at a neighbor’s. Until when, I don’t know.”

Matthew was the worst hurricane to strike Haiti in more than 50 years. It has left more than 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian aid. Learn about PADF's relief efforts to assist people like Marie.

PADF and USAID Celebrate Training of 2,500 of Suriname Youth

Paramaribo, Suriname (October 26, 2016) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) announces the results of a three-year Youth Development and Juvenile Justice Program, also known as Kari Yu!, which brought together public and private partners to empower youth in Suriname.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by PADF, Kari Yu! has supported basic life skills, vocational training, pre-employment skills and job placement services to more than 2,500 at-risk youth. Since 2013, more than 1,300 youth have received full time employment, completed an internship, started a business or returned to school as a result of the program.

Dines Paulus, one of the Kari Yu! graduates, who now works at PPS NV security company, shared his testimony at the event. “My supervisor told me that I had been selected for the premium guard training. I thought, WOW! This is nice. One step higher. In the end, I succeeded and received this big golden badge you can see on my uniform. I was really happy.”

The Kari Yu! program included a Youth to Youth (Y2Y) component that trained youth leaders to facilitate a basic life skills and pre-employment course to vulnerable youth in their own communities. After the five-week training program, career counselors mentor and coach participants for at least six months to enhance their ability to acquire and retain employment.

“It’s been a pleasure to watch youth go through the program and take ownership of their own lives,” says Kari Yu! Program Director Carlo Arze. “These trainings have empowered so many young people to reach their goals, while offering tools and encouragement along the way. Now, the future is in their hands."

In order to galvanize the private sector, PADF launched “Open the Door,” a multimedia awareness campaign that called on the government, local industries and vocational institutes to work together to create jobs for young people in Suriname. 

In addition to training youth, Kari Yu! has granted more than USD $800,000 to 26 projects implemented by NGOs in Suriname. Through these grants, Kari Yu! strengthened the capacity of local organizations and provided support and training in monitoring and evaluation, financial reporting, workforce development and effective mentoring for vulnerable youth.

Distinguished guests from the government, private sector and civil society organizations attended the closing ceremony including Edwin R. Nolan, U.S. Ambassador to Suriname; Christopher Cushing, Mission Director for USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean; and General Development Office Director Mr. T. Lawrence. PADF presented key program results and led a discussion on the future of youth development and youth employment initiatives in Suriname.

Results to date

o        2580 youth have participated in the Kari Yu! program

o        Over 730 youth have been placed in jobs

o        455 youth have completed an internship

o        32 youth started their own business

o        125 youth have returned to school or other training opportunity

o        30 juvenile justice reforms introduced

o        112 operators trained to implement these reforms