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. 

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.

After Hurricane Matthew: Jude's Story

Jude Jasmin with his wife, Alexandra Pierre, who is eight months pregnant.

Jude Jasmin with his wife, Alexandra Pierre, who is eight months pregnant.

On a recent Saturday morning, a funeral convoy is slowly making its way to the cemetery. It’s 8:00 a.m. and heavy clouds prevent the sun from shining over the village of Roseaux, southwest Haiti.  Coconuts trees have lost their leaves, banana and mango trees litter the ground. Like many of the buildings in this seaside town, the Catholic church has lost a significant part of its roof. 

People begin lining up in front of the public school as two PADF trucks with humanitarian aid approach. Women, elderly, and disabled people receive priority in line. Perched on his crutch, Jude Jasmin waits patiently for his turn to enter the school yard. Residents are givven a choice between a food kit or a personal hygiene kit. Jude emerges from the crowd with a hygiene kit including soap, toothpaste, water treatment tablets and other items.

“I chose this kit because to be in good health, one has to cultivate proper hygiene,” he says. “To me, these are important and I am pleased.”

Jude receives a hygiene kit from the PADF aid truck.

Jude receives a hygiene kit from the PADF aid truck.

Jude lives near the Catholic church. Today, his house is made of a few metal sheets, wood planks, and a tarp.  Humbly, he invites us inside.  His wife, Alexandra, is eight months pregnant. She sits on an uncomfortable bed made of wooden planks and covered with fabric scraps. 

“We live here,” Jude says.  With emotion, he recounts the night of horror when Hurricane Matthew struck. 

“We were in bed when hurricane force winds started blowing very loudly. A tree broke and landed on the roof of our little house,” Jude says. A branch hit him on the shin.

Since that night, Jude can hardly walk.  He can’t work as a moto-taxi driver anymore so he has been unable to provide for his pregnant wife.  Jude's father has been disabled for several years. He manages to feed himself thanks to his mother, who lives next door.  Jude and his wife are still living in their damaged house. His mother’s house also suffered extensive damage due to Hurricane Matthew. 

“The metal sheets went out in all directions and we were so scared,” she says, sitting on the floor stirring a pot. 

Jude does not know the sex of his child yet.  He can’t afford to pay for the sonogram.  He hopes his foot heals quickly so he can resume work in order to fulfill his role as a father.

Jude invites the camera into his parent's home after Hurricane Matthew.

PADF Launches STEM Program in the Americas

Regional Public-Private Partnership to Inspire Youth to Careers in Science

Washington, D.C. (December 8, 2016) – In honor of Computer Science and Education Week, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and partners announce a new educational initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean called STEM in the Americas: Inspiring the next Generation of Science and Technology Students. The project seeks to promote science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) to young students in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile.

PADF and partners including The Boeing Company and the Dart Foundation in Mexico will launch innovative STEM education initiatives that aim to inspire young students.

Visit www.padf.org/STEM for more information

Visit www.padf.org/STEM for more information

While school enrollment rates in the region have vastly improved in recent years, Latin American students continue to rank in the bottom third worldwide in math, reading and science, according to the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey. One of the barriers to success is unequal access to education. The region’s poorest students are more than two years behind their wealthier counterparts, according to the Inter-American Development Bank, which predicts it would take decades for the region to catch up with higher performing countries in math and science.

“Science and technology education is fundamental to building a highly-skilled, professional work force in Latin America and for driving economic growth,” says Marcos Jimenez, CEO of Softtek USA and a board member for PADF. “When taught well, these subjects can inspire a sense of curiosity—which is tied to educational achievement—in even the youngest students.”

PADF is committed to furthering the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This program aims to address income inequality, provide quality education and promote gender equality. Whether it's a science fair in Mexico, a nature-based science curriculum in Brazil, supplying books and supplies to schools in Argentina or providing educational support to teachers and students in Chile, PADF and partners are working to bridge the digital divide.

These STEM initiatives aim to engage young children from disadvantaged economic backgrounds who many not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about the field. The programs are designed to promote greater student engagement in science and technology, particularly among communities that are disproportionately underrepresented in these fields, including girls and indigenous youth. 

STEM in the Americas recognizes the critical role that teachers play in promoting science and technology and will create custom curricula based on each country’s needs.

STEM in the Americas is a member of the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Popularization of Science and Technology (RedPOP), an interactive network, which promotes regional cooperation to further education in science and technology.

“Improving the scientific and analytical skills of students can solve a range of socioeconomic problems and help Latin American countries take a leading role in finding solutions to the region’s most challenging issues,” says Luisa Villegas, Deputy Senior Programs Director for PADF.

Often, teachers are not well-equipped to promote STEM education. The STEM in the Americas project will address the need for increased educational opportunities for vulnerable youth both inside and outside of the classroom. In all three countries the project will build teacher capacity as well as that of students.

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.