Fried breadfruit, Chilean jewelry, and organic charcoal were all on hand for PADF’s Project for Participatory Development (PRODEP, funded by the World Bank ) 2nd Annual Fair held in Port Salut June 23rd and 24th. The two day extravaganza brought together over 2,000 participants from Haiti’s five Southern provinces, and gave vendors the opportunity to showcase goods from throughout the country. Additionally, evening entertainment showcased both locally and nationally known artists, as well as educational skits on the benefits of local production.
“We wanted to promote vendors that don’t normally get a lot of attention,” Agronomist Jacques Washington Joseph, PRODEP’s Southern Department Coordinator and one of the Fair’s coordinators, explained. “The 28 communes PADF-PRODEP works in are the poorest in Southern Haiti. One of the big reasons these communities are so poor is their lack of access to markets. Through our community interventions we work from all sides to address this problem-from building roads to integrated trainings. The Fair is a great way to showcase what we’ve accomplished.”
Alize Dordorsce, a 50 year old vendor from the Southern Haitian city of Torbeck, agrees. Dordorsce makes organic charcoal from decomposed food products and vegetation, and has been an active participant in PRODEP activities. “PRODEP helped put me and my community on the right path-there are a lot of things peasants don’t know-how to cash checks, how to open bank accounts-and PRODEP was right there beside us giving us the proper tools to take charge of our own development. The Fair today is just another example of how PRODEP promotes community driven development.”
The Fair was further praised by the Office of the Mayor of Port Salut, who complimented not only the initiatives of PRODEP but the structure of the organization. “Development is not achieved without structure-and with its community driven development model PRODEP instills the proper mechanisms to propel an inclusive and equitable development. Today PRODEP is giving the South of Haiti a new image, one that can uplift the economy and the people in it.”
The event received coverage by numerous media outlets, and was featured on the television show Bati Ayiti (Building Haiti). “With PRODEP, Haiti has already started to rise,” Agronomist Joseph explained. “And we will continue to rise."