Haitians Find Hope in New Homes

Nearly half of the buildings in the neighborhood of Delmas 32 were destroyed in the earthquake of 2010. Today, it’s a bustling urban center teeming with life thanks to the construction of apartment buildings, an outdoor market, newly-paved roads and sewers. 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). 

In January 2016, 18 families who were displaced after the earthquake moved into a brand new residential complex on Rue Durand. 

Today, Toussaint Léon feels like he is living again. The last few years have been a struggle. He was buried under the rubble of his apartment building for days after the 2010 earthquake. Today, he is living in a brand new complex and he and his wife own a shop on the same street.

Toussaint takes pride in his new apartment. (PADF, 2016)

Toussaint takes pride in his new apartment. (PADF, 2016)

“I’m so pleased,” he says of his new home. “I now have a place to receive guests. I’m not ashamed anymore when someone comes to my house.” 

He was living in a corridor before. "Now, I feel like I’m living," he says. “I have space. I can breathe.”

His neighbors agree. "It's a success," affirmed Biene Johnson (below, with his daughter). "I feel very comfortable in this apartment with my family. The neighborhood is evolving and moving in the right direction, and I have no qualms about raising my daughter here,” he added.

PADF Goodwill Ambassador Jimmy Jean-Louis gets to know Biene Johnson and his daughter in their new home. (PADF, 2016)

PADF Goodwill Ambassador Jimmy Jean-Louis gets to know Biene Johnson and his daughter in their new home. (PADF, 2016)

After the earthquake, PADF and partners repaired more than 1,100 damaged homes in Delmas 32 alone—10,000 throughout the country. What began as an emergency response became a multi-year development project that includes five square miles of roads, more than 300 solar-powered streetlights, new sidewalks and paths, water kiosks and more.

The construction is creating local jobs. Forty-year-old Laurent Vertier has worked at the Delmas construction for nearly a year. He has had trouble finding steady work in the past, he says, and works to support his wife and four young children. The construction work has changed things for his family.

“People are more willing to give me credit because they know I have a job," says Laurent. "When I get home at night, I’m tired, but knowing I have this job gives me strength.”

Laurent Vertier has been employed at the Delmas 32 construction site since August 2015. “This is boosting the economy in the area,” he says. (PADF, 2016)

Laurent Vertier has been employed at the Delmas 32 construction site since August 2015. “This is boosting the economy in the area,” he says(PADF, 2016)

Magdala sells rice, beans and lalo, a traditional Haitian spinach stew, to construction workers at the Delmas site. She will sell lunch to workers like Laurent on credit because she knows they are working.

“Business has picked up since the construction started," she says.

There's a newfound sense of hope in a neighborhood that was once reduced to rubble. “All I can do is pray for the staff of PADF for their efforts," said Toussaint. "And for everybody that made this possible.

Magdala's lalo stand has seen an uptick in business since the construction started in Delmas 32. (PADF, 2016)

Magdala's lalo stand has seen an uptick in business since the construction started in Delmas 32. (PADF, 2016)

El Economista | Maite Perroni entre las más poderosas de People en Español

El Economista 

Nueva York, 31 ago (EFEUSA).- La revista People en Esañol dio a conocer hoy su lista de las mujeres más poderosas y entre ellas figuran las cantantes Gloria Estefan y Maite Perroni y la directora de Política Nacional en la Casa Blanca, Cecilia Muñoz.

De acuerdo con la revista de espectáculos, estas latinas elegidas son líderes en el mundo del entretenimiento, las comunicaciones, los negocios y la política.

También incluye a Elena de Avalor, la primera princesa hispana de Disney, así como a la veterana periodista María Celeste Arrarás, las atletas Mónica Puig, medalla de oro en tenis en las Olimpiadas de Río y Laurie Hernández, también presea de oro como parte del equipo de gimnasia de EE.UU.

Alejandra Espinosa, primera reina del reality "Nuestra belleza latina" y las actrices Elizabeth Gutiérrez, Gaby Espino y Selenis Leyva y Lili Estefan, presentadora del programa de espectáculos "El Gordo y la Flaca" están además entre las más poderosas, de la edición especial de octubre.

La mexicana Espinoza, a la que la revista identifica como "la reina mediática", presentadora del concurso "La banda" producido por Ricky Martin, agrega a esa lista que toma también clases de actuación para esa nueva faceta en su carrera.

"Siempre he pensado que Dios tiene un plan para todos nosotros. He logrado tantas cosas en mi vida que yo misma me sorprendo", indicó Espinoza, de 29 años.

De la exRBD Maite Perroni, "la rebelde con causa" y que ha desarrollado una carrera como actriz, la revista destaca que se unió a la campaña de la Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) para erradicar el trabajo infantil.

"Los niños deben tener la libertad de vivir su vida en salud,

en juego, en aprendizaje, en familia, en amor", dijo la actriz y cantante de 33 años, que ha llamado "Love" a su gira de conciertos de su segundo disco en solitario, que saldrá al mercado en otoño, según esta edición especial

La edición especial de octubre, con la esperada lista, tiene en su portada a los actores Marjorie de Souza y Julián Gil que esperan su primer hijo.

USAID Program Brings Water, Jobs to Northeast Haiti

As the only female machine operator at CASTMI water purification plant in the Haitian border town of Ouanaminthe, Makilise Joseph takes pride in her work. A good job is hard to find in Haiti, she says. A native of Ounamanthe, Makilise moved to Port-au-Prince in order to find work. She was working as a product inspector at a t-shirt factory when the 2010 earthquake happened. Her home collapsed, crushing and killing two young cousins inside. Now she lives back in her hometown and she is able to support her little boy and elderly father with the income she makes at the plant. 

Run by a member of the Haitian Diaspora, CASTMI provides purified water to the public in bulk and individual sachets. CASTMI received a grant and technical assistance from the USAID-funded LEAD program to upgrade their facility with new equipment and move to a larger space. This allowed them to add bottled water to their product line.

Pastor Jean-Louis Vicelot is a regular CASTMI customer.

Our water is the best," Makilise says with a smile. "I see how they treat the water with my own eyes and I’m confident in the process. I trust it.” 

The local community relies on CASTMI for purified water. 

"Life depends on water," says Jean-Louis Vicelot, a pastor at the Baptist church in nearby Huhaut. He visits CASTMI two or three times each week to purchase five gallons of purified water. If there wasn’t a space like this, he’d be treating the water himself, he says. In the past, he had to travel to Cap-Haitian. Now, its nearby.

“I feel so happy the region is developing," he says. "More people will be employed.” 

CASTMI employees pose in front of the delivery van.

Run by a member of the Haitian Diaspora, CASTMI provides purified water to the public in bulk and individual sachets. 

Run by a member of the Haitian Diaspora, CASTMI provides purified water to the public in bulk and individual sachets. 

Belize Communities Receive Tools, Training for Disasters

PADF Belize Project Director Minerva Pinelo and a representative of Belize National Emergency Management Organization pose for a picture with the donated equipment.

The Pan American Development handed over tools and equipment to the Belize National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and to local first responders in the towns of for Dangriga and Hopkins Village in southern Belize. 

First responders received certificates after completing seven weeks of training in search and rescue, first aid and shelter management.

Funded by Taiwan, the Community Preparedness and Resilience initiative has assisted more than 14,000 residents in preparing for and responding to disasters. The year-long project trained and certified Community Disaster Response Teams, engaged local students about climate change, created hazard maps and early warning systems in each community and planted mangrove trees to mitigate coastal erosion.  

Each community response team is now equipped with a first aid kit and search and rescue bags. NEMO received equipment including a chainsaw, flotation device, burn kit, wheelbarrow and safety vests helmets and glasses. 

Shorlette Grant, Lynn Rodriguez and Oris Lewis were used their training as first responders during and after Hurricane Earl struck Belize in August.

Building Trust Between Youth and Law Enforcement

Last month, Bahamian students received a tour of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Headquarters in Nassau. The event was sponsored by the Resistance and Prevention (RAPP) program, which uses a community-centered approach to help police and other officials prevent youth crime. 

Funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and implemented by PADF, RAPP includes community programs that allow young people to learn more about the justice system and vice versa. The goal is to build mutual trust between the police, the government and Bahamian youth.

At-risk youth from the Fort Charlotte Urban Renewal Summer Camp participated in the the job shadowing event led by Officer Humphrey Bain. They learned about the Canine, Mobile Fire and Drug Enforcement units and came away with a clearer picture of what police do every day.

Youth violence stems from complex issues, including trouble at home and lack of access to social services, so the prevention involves a tiered approach. “It’s important to address these issues collectively and from an inter-agency perspective,” says Caterina Valero, PADF Senior Programs Director. “It’s also important to change young people’s perception of the police. Many youth think of the police as the enemy, rather than an ally.”

Empowering Haitian Rice Farmers

Maryse Jumelle and her husband Charles are passionate entrepreneurs who have revived a rice mill in the Artibonite region in Haiti. Charles’ family had been in the rice production business for generations. It was his wife, Maryse, who convinced him to restart operations.

Known as the rice basin of Haiti, Artibonite is a rich, fertile region fed by seasonal rains and the Artibonite river. When Maryse first moved there with her husband, she didn’t know anyone in the area besides her in-laws. It is a traditional community and local farmers are afraid of modernization, she says. “But, when I arrived in the plains of Artibonite, in Pont Sonde, I found a small house—a cottage—and I said to Charles: ‘I love this place, I would really like to settle here and work in rice production.’” The couple stayed and launched Moulin Nan Noté, an enterprise that produces rice and purchases it from local farmers. They operate a rice mill and sell Haitian rice domestically. After 10 years in business, they are now looking to export as well.

Rice cultivation is typically dominated by women in Artibonite and Maryse has also been instrumental in organizing a women’s association of rice producers and laborers in Saint-Marc. The association is called Fanm Plantez Renal-Preval and has over 400 members. Moulin Nan Noté’s location is extremely convenient for local farmers.  It offers local producers an alternative to walking many kilometers to find a mill. Moulin Nan Noté has also built shelters to protect their rice farmers from the blazing sun while they parboil their crop.

Moulin Nan Noté buys rice from local farmers, while also allowing them to use the mill for a small fee, if they wish to sell their rice directly. With funds from the Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) program, Moulin Lanoté was able to purchase equipment to modernize its operations, including cultivation, storage and packaging for sale in supermarket.  

LEAD was launched in 2011 by USAID to provide support for small- and medium-sized enterprises in Haiti. The program is implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation, which provides technical assistance. To date, the program has supported 31 Haitian enterprises.

“It is because of the LEAD grant that I could buy modern appliances such as a bagging machine, sealers, and scales,” says Maryse.  “I would not have been able to market at this level without using LEAD, if I did not participate in the business plan competitions and win!”

The company also used its own capital to match the LEAD grant and was able to purchase important equipment such as tillers and a silo.  LEAD has facilitated consultations with international and local agronomists who will help Maryse and Charles to triple their production.

Moulin Nan Noté sells many varieties of Haitian rice—white, parboiled, high-fiber—which they process and bag in their location in Port-au-Prince. Their product is available under the brand name Délice in 2.5, 5, 10, 25 and even 100-pound bags at supermarkets and wholesalers in Port-au-Prince. Recently, their rice was sent to a lab in Canada for testing and they are now able to add a nutrition label to their bags.

Maryse and Charles credit the LEAD program for helping them run a more professional business. "The training on accounting and finance that LEAD offered us has allowed us to formalize our business,” says Maryse. “Now we have an operating manual that covers all our procedures; we use financial software; we generate timely reports that help us make good decisions. Now Moulin Nan Noté is a modern business.”

The business makes a big impact on local farmers. Before this enterprise restarted the mill, rice producer Lillianne Alexis walked very far, carrying her rice on donkeys or by motorcycle to mill it and resell it. Her rice lost value when it was broken instead of milled. Now, she says, “the machines at Nan Noté are excellent!” The proximity of the mill is also a plus for farmers as they don’t have to spend their money on transportation.

Maryse and Charles are not done dreaming. After modernizing their operations, they hope to join the export market. Parboiled rice, which is beloved in Haiti, is characterized by a strong odor. Further, its processing is often done using firewood, which is a strain on local forests. Moulin Nan Noté will benefit from another USAID program called LEVE, which will help the company purchase an electric steamer and dryer. This will help farmers standardize the color and quality of the rice and reduce the odor. Moulin Nan Noté will export this rice throughout the Caribbean as well as to North America.

And after that? Maryse and Charles are passionate entrepreneurs who have set their sights on expanding into rice flour production and brown rice. LEAD is proud of the achievements of these two future leaders in the Haitian rice industry and looks forward to their continued success.

About LEAD
USAID’s Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) project aims to attract investments in Haitian SMEs and increase the development impact of remittances. LEAD operates in the three development corridors: Cap-Haïtien, Saint-Marc, and Port-au-Prince. The project is implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). 

GFC Nieuws | Meer dan 700 Jongeren Geholpen aan een Baan Door Kari Yu

GFC Nieuws

De Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) heeft deze week de 8e certificaat-uitreiking en banenbeurs voor jongeren die met succes de Kari Yu! Youth to Youth (Y2Y) training hebben afgerond.

Bij die speciale uitreiking gedenkt Kari Yu! ook het feit dat meer dan 700 jonge Surinamers een baan hebben gevonden in het bedrijfsleven.

Om de bereikte resultaten te vieren, zal Kari Yu! een boek presenteren: “Faces of Kari Yu!” met de persoonlijke verhalen van 20 jongeren die een positieve verandering hebben doorgemaakt in hun leven dankzij de training en begeleiding. (GFC)

PADF Trainees Assist Belize Government after Hurricane Earl

Shorlette Grant, Lynn Rodriguez and Oris Lewis assisted as the First Aid team in Hopkins, Belize.

Hurricane Earl made landfall in Belize City on August 4, 2016, causing millions of dollars in damage to infrastructure, as well as the tourism and agriculture sectors. The Southern coastal communities of Hopkins and Dangriga were better prepared to face the storm thanks to the Community Preparedness and Resilience Project, funded by Taiwan and implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). The project assisted over 14,000 residents of Belize’s Stann Creek District in preparing for and responding to disasters. Newly-trained and equipped Community Disaster Response Teams were on hand to assist their neighbors during and after the hurricane. The project also created hazard maps, flood gauges and strengthened early warning systems in each community.

Francis Zuniga (right), a newly-elected member of the Hopkins Village Council, assisted as Shelter Manager.

PADF project participants who received disaster preparedness and risk education training through the project have been supporting the Belize National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) following Hurricane Earl.

The Government Belize continues to assess the damage, but NEMO has declared that priority areas include:

  1. Search and rescue

  2. Medical care

  3. Shelter 

  4. Clearing of debris along the highways

  5. Restoration of utilities

  6. Inspection of airports and seaports

In addition, ongoing evaluations will determine the level of required support for affected vulnerable communities isolated by the mountainous terrain and flooded rivers.

David Cruz (left) joined NEMO as part of the Search and Rescue Committee

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 and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Disaster Assistance and Reconstruction Fund has delivered assistance to more than 282,000 people in Latin America & the Caribbean since 2012.

BahamasLocal.com | PADF Sponsored Workshop Equips Community Facilitators

Last week, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), through its Resistance And Prevention Program (RAPP), organized a five-day workshop to train local facilitators on effective crime prevention strategies.

A total of 21 key stakeholders from the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, Department Social Services, Urban Renewal, Ministry of Education, the Bahamas Bar Association, law enforcement agencies and community activists participated in the sessions held at the Bahamas Red Cross headquarters.

PADF Program Coordinator, Mrs. Charo Walker-Morley said the certification workshop provided facilitators with practical prevention tools for crime reduction. “We targeted law enforcement and justice sector officials as well as community leaders who are actively involved in crime prevention to participate,” she said. “As a result of the training, persons are able to go into areas as facilitators for the RAPP program and work as catalysts within the community.”

PADF brought in detectives Mary Wheat and Jason Jones of the Portland Police Bureau in Portland, Oregon to conduct the training. The team identified proven prevention and intervention techniques used to resolve community conflicts throughout the United States and in other territories in the region. Training modules for each session were structured around group activities, discussions and presentations on topics such as “Root Causes of Youth Crime and Violence”, “Gangs and Organized Crime” and “Understanding Domestic Violence and Teen Dating Abuse.” 

Workshop participant Donna Mae Humes, Chief Correctional Officer, Bahamas Department of Corrections, said her best experience was standing in front of the class on the final day and giving a presentation on “Communication and Effective Listening”. “The training will allow me to carry out outreach with female inmates in an effort to turn them away from a life of crime.”

The training comes after a series of initiatives put on by RAPP since the launch of its second phase back in April. Organizers work closely with the Royal Bahamas Police Force to impact urban communities through job shadowing, youth dialogues and mock court trials. Over 100 young Bahamians have completed job shadowing activities at RBPF headquarters, Department of Correctional Services and Bahamas Customs.

“Job shadowing allows young people to see how professionals administer law in the country. It works to build trust between the participants and law enforcement agents. By seeing the day-to-day operations in various agencies, they can interact in a positive way with persons in positions of authority and are exposed to real career options for the future,” Walker-Morley explained.

Last month, the program also collaborated with the Royal Bahamas Police Force summer camp and the Elijhay’s Hilltop Cottage Ministries Camp Extraordinaire 2016. Plans are in progress for the newly certified facilitators to set up community dialogues at venues within neighborhoods where persons can talk about the impact of crime and leaders can apply new techniques from the training.

RAPP falls under the Washington, DC-based PADF and is fully funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In addition to work in New Providence, organizers will extend the program throughout The Bahamas including Grand Bahama, Abaco, Exuma, Eleuthera and Mayaguana. Currently, RAPP (Resistance And Prevention Program) is active in The Bahamas, Trinidad and Suriname.

Nassau Guardian | Workshop Equips Community Facilitators With Crime Prevention Tips

Last week, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), through its Resistance And Prevention Program (RAPP), organized a five-day workshop to train local facilitators on effective crime prevention strategies.

A total of 21 key stakeholders from the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, Department of Social Services, Urban Renewal, Ministry of Education, the Bahamas Bar Association, law enforcement agencies and community activists participated in the sessions held at the Bahamas Red Cross headquarters.

PADF Program Coordinator Charo Walker-Morley said the certification workshop provided facilitators with practical prevention tools for crime reduction. “We targeted law enforcement and justice sector officials as well as community leaders who are actively involved in crime prevention to participate,” she said.

“As a result of the training, persons are able to go into areas as facilitators for the RAPP program and work as catalysts within the community.”

PADF brought in detectives Mary Wheat and Jason Jones of the Portland Police Bureau in Portland, Oregon to conduct the training. The team identified proven prevention and intervention techniques used to resolve community conflicts throughout the United States and in other territories in the region. Training modules for each session were structured around group activities, discussions and presentations on topics such as “Root Causes of Youth Crime and Violence”, “Gangs and Organized Crime” and “Understanding Domestic Violence and Teen Dating Abuse”.

Workshop participant Donna Mae Humes, chief correctional officer, Bahamas Department of Corrections, said her best experience was standing in front of the class on the final day and giving a presentation on “Communication and Effective Listening”.

“The training will allow me to carry out outreach with female inmates in an effort to turn them away from a life of crime,” she said.

The training comes after a series of initiatives put on by RAPP since the launch of its second phase back in April. Organizers work closely with the Royal Bahamas Police Force to impact urban communities through job shadowing, youth dialogues and mock court trials. Over 100 young Bahamians have completed job shadowing activities at RBPF headquarters, the Department of Correctional Services and Bahamas Customs.

“Job shadowing allows young people to see how professionals administer law in the country. It works to build trust between the participants and law enforcement agents. By seeing the day-to-day operations in various agencies, they can interact in a positive way with persons in positions of authority and are exposed to real career options for the future,” Walker-Morley explained.

Last month, the program also collaborated with the Royal Bahamas Police Force summer camp and the Elijhay’s Hilltop Cottage Ministries Camp Extraordinaire 2016. Plans are in progress for the newly certified facilitators to set up community dialogues at venues within neighborhoods, where persons can talk about the impact of crime and leaders can apply new techniques from the training.

RAPP falls under the Washington, D.C.-based PADF and is fully funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In addition to work in New Providence, organizers will extend the program throughout The Bahamas including Grand Bahama, Abaco, Exuma, Eleuthera and Mayaguana. Currently, RAPP (Resistance And Prevention Program) is active in The Bahamas, Trinidad and Suriname.