Relief Delivered to Colombian Families Displaced by Flooding

Families already displaced by Colombia's civil conflict are now displaced by severe floods.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, at least 24,000 people have been affected in Nariño Department after intense rains. At least eight rivers are said to have flooded in the region.

PADF Colombia has been coordinating with local government officials and UN agencies to provide comprehensive care for families affected by flooding, particularly in Tumaco, where PADF has been working to support indigenous and Afro-Colombian groups for several years.

On January 26 and 27, PADF hosted two “Days of Care” with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

During the event, PADF delivered the following:

  • Food kits to 140 families
  • Psychosocial support sessions for more than 95 people
  • Medical treatment at the Hospital Divino Niño de Tumaco for 72 people
  • Oral hygiene care for more than 30 people

For more information about PADF's work in Colombia, visit

Repairing Haiti's Irrigation Canals After Hurricane Matthew

With funding from the American Red Cross, PADF is working to repair irrigation systems in Northwest Haiti that were damaged by Hurricane Matthew. PADF constructed a substantial irrigation canal in the town of Jean-Rabel in 2003 and it waters the crops of many farmers in the region.

Clearing the canal of debris was a priority for the community after the passage of Hurricane Matthew, but they were unable to complete the job on their own. PADF assembled four teams of 20 people to assist in the repairs.

"The canal is our life,” said Nacius Michel, president of the Irrigation Association of Jean-Rabel. “We will do everything possible to get the water back into the canal as quickly as possible so that we can start producing again."

Local farmer Jackson Jeanty is helping in the repair efforts. "I work mainly to get the water back in my garden. With water in the canal, my production is guaranteed."

After the work is complete, the community will receive a donation of 100,000 potato cuttings to improve their harvest.

[Story adapted from La Nouvelliste]

PADF Announces Retirement of its Executive Director

John Sanbrailo

John Sanbrailo

January 31, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) — The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) advises that its long-serving Executive Director John Sanbrailo will retire effective September 30, 2017.

Mr. Sanbrailo has been PADF’s Chief Executive Officer for 18 years, growing the Foundation from less than $10 million in annual operations in 1998 to $95 million in 2017.  During his tenure, PADF mobilized and expended almost $1 billion to assist vulnerable populations and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

In the last decade, the Foundation positively impacted over 100 million marginalized people who have not yet prospered from the region’s economic and social development.  It implements programs in more than 20 countries throughout the hemisphere. PADF has become a major Inter-American force for carrying out the mandates of the Organization of American States (OAS) to assist people who have been excluded from the mainstream of their societies.

The Board of Trustees has established a search committee chaired by its President, Luis Ubiñas.  The committee has selected the firm Russell Reynolds Associates to assist with the recruitment of a new Executive Director.

“Through his long career with PADF, John Sanbrailo has elevated the Foundation to new heights, making it a major player in regional development,” said PADF President Luis Ubiñas. “Under his stewardship, the Foundation formed strong partnerships with both the public and private sectors, alliances which will help us carry on the important work of providing more opportunities for more people for years to come.”

During Mr. Sanbrailo’s tenure, PADF has become a development leader in the Americas by increasing employment and incomes for millions of marginalized people; facilitating social inclusion of Afro-descendants and indigenous people, women and youth; strengthening hundreds of civil society and community-based organizations; promoting democratic practices and human rights; and helping communities recover from and prepare for natural disasters. In recent years, PADF also expanded initiatives to invest in small and medium-size enterprises, support at-risk youth, help communities become more resilient to climate change, improve access to STEM education, and more. 

"John Sanbrailo is a true Pan-Americanist whose commitment to the economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean is unmatched,” said Past PADF President and current trustee Robert McGee. “Thanks to his tireless efforts and leadership, the Foundation has prospered, and millions of people now have an improved quality of life. We are grateful for his service. He leaves the Foundation in a strong position to continue to grow and to tackle new challenges facing the region.”

Prior to joining PADF, Mr. Sanbrailo worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for 30 years, serving as USAID Mission Director in Ecuador, Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, and as its Director of Policy Planning and Budgeting and Project Development for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Bureau. He has been a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, LAC governments, multinational companies and non-governmental organizations.  He is a recognized leader in developing innovative private sector approaches to international development. Mr. Sanbrailo began his career in the 1960s with the Peace Corps in Venezuela. He is a historian of U.S. foreign aid and of the Inter-American System.

Over the years, the Foundation has been a major support mechanism for Plan Colombia and for Haiti’s reconstruction and development programs. PADF cooperates with Central American countries to advance human rights and aid migrants and displaced families, works with Mexico to combat child labor, and carries out projects in the Caribbean to improve citizen security and provide vocational training and jobs for at-risk youth. It supports civil society and corporate social responsibility projects throughout the hemisphere, partnering with the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA) and its member AmChams to implement disaster assistance and other projects.

Governed by a private sector Board of Trustees, the Foundation was established in 1962 as an affiliate of the Organization of American States.  It was an instrument of John Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress and was an early USAID NGO partner, receiving support from the Social Progress Trustee Fund at the IADB, the OAS and corporate and individual donors. Today, PADF also collaborates with governments, multilateral organizations, and major companies operating in Latin America and the Caribbean, such as Caterpillar Inc., Royal Caribbean Cruises, Chevron, AACCLA and others. PADF expresses the solidarity of the OAS and its member states with the least fortunate in the region and advances their sustainable development.

Hearly G. Mayr
Director of Communications and Public Affairs

10 Best Development Ideas from the Haitian Diaspora

Launched in the fall of 2016, the Diaspora Challenge Initiative aims at leveraging ideas about potential development concepts among members of the Haitian Diaspora looking for opportunities to contribute to Haiti’s development. 

The initiative is carried out by The National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals (NAAHP) in collaboration with the EDEM Foundation, GRAHN-USA, and the Society for Haitian Research. Funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the initiative is part of the broader Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments program (LEAD) implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). 

NAAHP and partners invited members of the Haitian Diaspora to submit their development ideas. The  proposals were reviewed by a jury of experts, based on criteria including sustainability and economic impact. 

Among the 190 submissions received, the 10 Best Development Ideas were selected by the jury. Ten winning applicants were awarded an exclusive trip to attend a conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to present their ideas to potential investors and network with their peers, as well as local, regional and international donors and funders with the potential to help promote or realize the ideas. Here are the

Top 10 Best Development Ideas
From Members of the Haitian Diaspora

Emmanuel Ronald Bertrand
City/ Country: Georgia, USA
Project: Education
A mentorship program with Haiti’s graduating college students to support the municipalities (local mayors).

Steve Chérestal and Didier Jean-Baptiste
City/Country: Florida and Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Project: Microfinance
A web platform to provide nano loans and to serve as a virtual marketplace through harnessing

Jean Conille
City/Country: Dominican Republic
Project: Environment
Ecologically-friendly gas stations for public transport vehicles (tap-taps). Empower drivers to convert diesel vehicles to propane

Michel Degraff
Cambridge, MA, USA
Project: Countrywide Education
Promoting STEM education in Haiti through technology and the Kreyol language

Scheeler Devis
City/Country: New York, USA
Project: Agro-industry
A distillery to produce alcohol, green charcoal and purified drinking water

Paul Obed Dumersaint
City/Country: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Project: Agriculture, Energy, Environment
Merging agriculture, energy and the environment using biotech and promoting cutting edge research in Haiti.

Nedjeda Jean-Paul
City/Country: Quebec, Canada
Project: Healthcare
Creation of a medical test laboratory

Marc Raphaël
City/Country: California, USA
Project: Solar Energy
A chain of affordable, solar-powered food trucks that double as Internet hotspots

Wisblaude Thermidor and Beverly Malbranche
City/Country: New Haven, CT, USA
Project: Fair Trade Development
A sustainable way to eradicate food insecurity in Haiti

Marcel Wah
City/ Country: Chisinau, Moldova, and Plainsboro, NJ
Project: Agriculture:
Bee farming to generate income from bee-related products and reverse pollinator decline

For more information, visit the Diaspora Challenge Initiative website.

Ensuring Clean Water After Hurricane Matthew

The all-in-one-filter is capable of filtering up to 540 gallons of water per day.

The all-in-one-filter is capable of filtering up to 540 gallons of water per day.

PADF is partnering with the Caribbean Desalination Association(CaribDA) in Haiti to donate water filtration kits to Haitian families affected by Hurricane Matthew. A total of 218 filtration systems were donated through the generosity of CaribDa's members and a matching donation from the manufacturer, Sawyer Products.

The donation includes in-person training in Haiti on how to use the filters in Haiti, led by two CaribDA professionals. Each kit contains a Sawyer PointONE Water Purifier Unit and a five-gallon bucket manufactured in Haiti by Plastech Industries.

This is essential for families in the Hurricane-affected areas, which are struggling to prevent water-borne diseases such as cholera.

As a member of CaribDA, the Cayman Water Company purchase 75 of the water filtration systems. “We commend CaribDA for taking the initiative to provide an effective means to meet Haiti’s most basic need,” said Karlene Singh, Business Development – Project Engineer at Consolidated Water and CaribDA Director. “Cayman Water is so pleased to be able to offer our support and help bring safe drinking water to our neighbour, especially in their time of need.”

The Caribbean Desalination Association (CaribDA) is a non-profit organization and represents members/sponsors from the Caribbean desalination and water reuse communities, utilities, industries, academia and government as well as individuals interested in water supply improvement in the Caribbean, specifically by means of desalination or water reuse. 

Le Nouvelliste | Le relèvement de Delmas 32

Le Nouvelliste

Après les nombreux dégâts entraînés par le séisme du 12 janvier 2010, la nation a dû se relever tant bien que mal. Les initiatives pullulent, les ONG envahissent le pays pour exécuter des projets par-ci, par-là. Le maire de Delmas, Wilson Jeudy, se rappelle encore qu’au lendemain du séisme, une délégation de la Banque mondiale l’avait approché en ce sens, à son bureau. Le maire a tout de suite balancé son aversion pour les programmes couramment appelés « Cash for work » (argent comme rétribution). Même s’il reconnaît que ce type de programme avait le mérite de faire gagner de l’argent à quelques bénéficiaires.

Les membres de cette délégation demandaient au maire de préciser ce qu’il voulait pour sa commune. Wilson Jeudy a aussitôt demandé qu’on mette à sa disposition une enveloppe pour exécuter des projets utiles, durables, aptes à transformer un bidonville en village. Les membres de la délégation ont demandé au maire d’indiquer le lieu et Jeudy a immédiatement désigné Delmas 32. En réalité, le maire de Delmas voulait avoir, dit-il, un projet qu'on peut reproduire dans d’autres quartiers de la commune. Puis, la conversation a brusquement pris fin sans autre commentaire.

« Je pensais que tout était fini après cette rencontre. Pourtant, un mois après, la Banque mondiale via le Bureau de monétisation des programmes d’aide au développement (BMPAD) est venue consulter la mairie une fois de plus », a confié M. Jeudy. Cette fois-ci, ajoute-t-il, ils sont venus annoncer qu’une enveloppe de 30 millions de dollars a été approuvée pour l’exécution du projet à Delmas 32. Une aubaine pour la zone qui gisait dans la crasse.

Le maire Wilson Jeudy, qui s’exprimait lors d’une visite guidée à Delmas 32, le jour qui ramène les sept ans du drame, appelle tout un chacun à comparer Delmas 32 tel qu’il est aujourd’hui et sa situation d’avant le tremblement de terre. Aussi remercie-t-il la Banque mondiale, le Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) et le BMPAD qui ont rendu le projet viable. « Je ne suis pas satisfait à 100%, mais je suis soulagé de constater la différence», a-t-il confié.

« Le Prodepur-habitat est venu se greffer sur un projet en exécution à Delmas 32, le Projet de développement participatif en milieu urbain (Prodepur) », a expliqué le directeur de la direction d'analyse et d'évaluation au BMPAD, Charles Edouard Jean. À la faveur des dégâts causés par le séisme du 12 janvier 2010, le gouvernement haïtien, la mairie de Delmas et la Banque mondiale ont décidé de profiter des acquis du Prodepur.

Vantant les mérites de ce projet de la Banque mondiale, Charles Edouard Jean s’est souvenu des péripéties des responsables pour trouver les titres de propriétés des victimes du séisme. Seuls 8 % des gens avaient un titre de propriété. Le financement des 3 500 dollars américains par famille pour la reconstruction/réhabilitation des maisons endommagées et étiquetées jaune par les Travaux publics ne pouvait suivre son cours normal. Les 92 % des propriétaires ne pouvaient exhiber leurs titres.

Des 42 000 mètres cubes de débris enlevés à Delmas, en passant par la formation de techniciens, à la construction des 13,5 km de route, de couloirs réalisés, la Banque mondiale et le BMPAD ont jeté leur dévolu sur ce quartier et le jour symbole du 12 janvier 2017 pour battre la grosse caisse sur les différentes réalisations. Le Projet de Reconstruction des Quartiers Défavorisés (PREKAD) et du Projet de Développement Communautaire Participatif en Milieu Urbain (PRODEPUR Habitat) est financé par la Banque mondiale, à hauteur de 65 millions de dollars pour une durée de cinq ans. 

A Haitian Entrepreneur's Vision: Beachfront Paradise

Parnell Saint-Preux wants visitors to Haiti to see what he sees: a diamond in the rough.

Les Trois Rois is a beachfront hotel and apartment complex near Labadie in northwest Haiti. The brainchild of Saint-Preux, the luxury complex is under construction and features mahogany chairs, marble floors and stunning views. He has thought of every detail down to the cedar closets and hand carved wooden trim.

“Everything here is locally sourced,” Saint-Preux says proudly. He points to the terrace, which will include a swim-up bar and infinity pool. The property is right next to one of Northern’s Haiti’s only surfing areas.

“It’s a tough thing to do business in Haiti,” he says. “When I bought this property my friends thought I was crazy. This is why LEAD is so important.”

Saint Preux received a $200,000 grant and technical assistance from the Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The program supports small and medium-sized Haitian business, allowing them to expand their operations, to increase employment and spur the economy. 

“LEAD has been helpful in so many ways,” Saint-Preux says. “Their technical expertise is extremely important.” LEAD referred him to environmental experts to help him build gabon baskets along the shore in front of his property in order to reduce erosion.

“They thought of things I hadn’t thought of,” he says. “They guide you to do it well.”

Though building a luxury hotel complex isn’t easy, Saint Preux is driven by happy childhood memories of trips to Labadie and a desire to showcase his native Haiti to travelers. “Haiti is country rich in history, culture and good people,” he says. “That’s why I’m doing this.”

He also sees himself as a pioneer in the region, boosting the local tourism industry. “When someone comes to the area, this will set the standard.”

“This place is so beautiful. I want to build something equally beautiful.”

New Bikes Help Rural Colombian Students Get to School

Kids from the Rural Ethnoeducation Institute in Samutpio receive their bikes. 

Kids from the Rural Ethnoeducation Institute in Samutpio receive their bikes. 

Liseth walks for more than an hour from her home in Riohacha, La Guajira Colombia to get to school. The sun is hot and when it rains, the paths become muddy, she says. Thanks to an alliance between Postobón and PADF Colombia, her commute is much shorter. Postobón delivers bicycles to vulnerable students in rural areas to reduce dropout rates and improve academic performance. Last year alone, Postobon donated more than 1,500 bikes to children in communities including Samutpiou, Media Luna and Laachon Mayapo. 


Students in Riohacha, La Guajira, received 150 bicycles through the MiBici program.

Bike delivery in La Guajira.

Liseth no longer has to walk to school in the mud.

El Informador | Paraguachón Estrena Este Jueves Casa Lúdica

El Informador

El corregimiento fronterizo de Paraguachón, perteneciente a la cabecera municipal de Maicao, será uno de los beneficiados con el programa integral Niños, niñas y adolescentes con oportunidades gracias a la construcción de una casa lúdica. El espacio que será inaugurado este jueves, le permitirá a los niños, niñas y adolescentes realizar actividades deportivas, lúdicas y académicas fundamentales en el aprovechamiento del tiempo libre y que esto contribuya a la construcción de su proyecto de vida.

La inauguración de la casa lúdica en Paraguachón, corregimiento fronterizo con Venezuela contará con la presencia del presidente de Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos y la ministra de Relaciones Exteriores, María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar.

El evento tendrá el apoyo de la Administración Municipal dirigida por José Carlos Molina Becerra.

Las casas lúdicas han blindado del flagelo del mal uso del tiempo libre a más de 11 mil niños, niñas y adolescentes entre el 2012 y 2016 en 25 espacios lúdicos construidos en igual número de ciudades colombianas.

Estos espacios son una de las iniciativas que lidera la Cancillería en municipios vulnerables al reclutamiento armado infantil que llegó durante el año pasado a cinco ciudades más.

A lo largo de 2016, el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, en asoció con los gobiernos locales, la Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (FUPAD), y el sector privado, para poner en marcha las casas lúdicas en Paraguachón (La Guajira), Tumaco (Nariño), Vistahermosa (Meta), Barranquilla (Atlántico), y Cartagena (Bolívar).

Con un total de 25 casas lúdicas, esta iniciativa que ha sido una prioridad para la canciller María Ángela Holguín desde el 2012, el Ministerio le apuesta a contribuir a mitigar este flagelo que trunca los sueños de la infancia en Colombia.

Jóvenes entre los 6 y 17 años, encuentran en las casas lúdicas canchas multideportes, sala de computadores, salón de música, salón de baile y comedor, donde realizan actividades culturales, deportivas, promoción de derechos, refuerzo escolar, entre otros.

El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores creó esta iniciativa en cumplimiento de compromisos internacionales. El Gobierno Nacional aceptó de forma voluntaria, la Resolución 1612 de 2005 del Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas, el cual habla sobre la prevención y la lucha contra el reclutamiento armado infantil.

The Abaconian | PADF Launches Women's Non-Violence Initiative in Bahamas

The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) launched a program to raise awareness regarding gender-based violence in The Bahamas on Nov. 29 through Dec. 2.

The program is called the Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND).

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), 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.” WIND also raises awareness and shares information and best practices among agencies to best address the issue.

WIND conferences took place free of charge on New Providence, Grand Bahama, Cat Island, and at the Anglican Parish Hall on Abaco in observance of the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW), which takes place on Nov. 25.

Valerie Dean, president of the Rotary Club of Abaco, was the moderator. The Rotary Club partnered with PADF for the event.

According to Maria Elena Nazar, PADF’s program manager, there was a great amount of engagement and participation from everyone attending the conferences.

“It’s amazing that this is a topic that is currently being discussed in The Bahamas, and everybody wants to talk about it, share their perspective and definitely break the silence,” Nazar said. “We are very happy to be here; this initiative will take 14 months to implement.

“Our program consists of different components – one large component is grants that will be awarded to different organizations that will participate in a formal proposal process. We look forward to all of the great results that we are going to have here in The Bahamas.”

She said that gender-based violence appears to be a major issue based on the perspectives of those who spoke during the conference, and agreed that it is an issue that affects men as well as women.

“It’s about finding a common ground where both actors can come together – not as male or female – but as individuals, as humans.”

A 2015 report published by the Ministry of Social Services and Community Development, confirmed that gender-based violence is a major public health issue, and that The Bahamas is the leading Caribbean country with the highest recorded occurrences of rape in the world.

The keynote speaker was Miriam Roache, principal expert on gender-based violence from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. During her remarks, Roache shared some of her perspectives on gender-based violence.

“The main causes of gender-based violence are rooted in discrimination and gender inequalities based on gender roles. It is one of the most pervasive human rights violations of the world and has enormous physical and emotional consequences for its victims,” Roache stated.

Although she mentioned that there are numerous obstacles faced by The Bahamas, she outlined a list of resources that are available in terms of legislation and significant advances made to prevent violence against women.

“Thus we must continue to be determined to make a difference; we have a civil and moral responsibility to end violence against women. We must continue to pledge the use of our good offices to remove this scourge. It is incumbent on all of us to put our hearts and heads together to effect – change – to end violence against women,” she challenged.

Opening remarks were also made by Pastor Silbert Mills, CEO of the Bahamas Christian Network (BCN); Charo Morley, PADF country coordinator; John Bush, political officer of the U.S. Department of State; and Island Administrator Charles Moss.

Panelists included: Supt. Hilton Cash of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF); Ettamae Jones, senior welfare officer of the Dept. of Social Services; Devina Leach, counselor; and Valerie Pratt, clinic administrator of the Marsh Harbour Government Clinic.

Each of the panelists presented their gender-based violence concerns within their areas of work, and later carried out a question and answer session with the participantsrepresenting various government agencies. They were separated into five groups and given a list of guiding questions to discuss.

The questions addressed challenges faced by the community regarding gender-based violence, perceptions and stereotypes, who is most affected by it, a list of organizations that provide support, any affected groups not attended to, areas that needed strengthening, and the main message of raising awareness about gender-based violence.