Port-au-Prince Entrepreneurs Receive Financing and Training

Residents of Canaan, a settlement that appeared on Port-au-Prince’s outskirts after 209,000 Haitians were displaced in the 2010 earthquake, are getting access to financing and job training.

It’s part of a $1.7 million project sponsored by the American Red Cross and USAID Haiti. PADF and Global Communities are implementing the yearlong project, called “Ann Bouste Canaan.” The goal is to promote equitable & resilient urban development by creating jobs and preparing people for the workforce.

One objective of the program is to train 150 young people in vocational schools. On June 13, a group of 26 young completed their training. They received certificates in sewing, after studying for several months at a vocational school run by the nonprofit INDEPCO.

207 young Haitians received technical job training in a variety of fields.

207 young Haitians received technical job training in a variety of fields.

“Today I’m a new person,” said John Dolly Louis Charles, who was proud to receive his certificate. “I thank all the institutions that contributed to this project.”

John was part of the textiles training, but 200 others his age are training in computer science, technical windows, floral art, and plumbing. Upon completing the two-month training, each trainee will be integrated into the program’s employer network.

The project, which started last July, has already made huge progress in training workers and equipping small businesses in Canaan.

Winning entrepreneurs celebrate their awards

Winning entrepreneurs celebrate their awards

In January, over 350 entrepreneurs applied to have their ideas brought to life in a business plan competition. After a 10-stage selection process, 29 businesses were awarded funding.

As a result of the funding, the winning businesses are expected to generate 400 new jobs.

An additional 30 small businesses will receive technical training on microfinance and accounting, including access to online credit.

Finally, 150 small business owners will get connected to microfinance institutions for financial services like micro loans and insurance.

The project is launching Haiti’s working class on an upward trajectory. Young people are training and becoming workplace-ready, and established businesses are receiving the financing and technical assistance necessary for long-term growth.

For young people like John, it’s a chance to have a livelihood. “I have a craft and I look forward to taking care of myself,” he says.

Urban Oasis: A Haitian Entrepreneur's Vision

Pink hibiscus flowers greet visitors to Lakou Breda, a hotel in northern Haiti's city of Cap-Haïtien. The gardens are full of fruits and vegetables and guests can see chickens, guinea fowl and rabbits roaming the grounds. It's an oasis in the city with historic significance as the home of Toussaint L’Ouverture, leader of the Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution.

At the heart of the hotel is owner Herold Decius, whose persistence and vision has created a sanctuary for the local community as well as for weary travelers. Lakou Breda also offers nature classes for young school children. 

Born in Cap-Haitien, Herold attended school in Canada, but longed to return to his homeland. “The day I finished university, I took a plane back to Haiti,” he says.

But starting a business in Haiti wasn't easy. “The loan at the bank is really expensive,” he says. “It's very difficult.”

Decius received a matching 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, increase employment and spur economic growth. 

Today, the hotel includes 46 apartments and 10 bungalows. Decius is in the process of expanding the business to offer a full-service conference center and pool. Even before the construction started, the Haitan National Police came for a three-day conference.

“We’ll have the best conference room in Cap-Haitien,” Decius says. “It will be sold out.”

In addition to funds, LEAD is providing Decius with technical support in tourism, administration and marketing. 

For Decius, the secret to becoming a successful entrepreneur is never giving up. 

"You have to adapt," he says. "It’s like driving from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitien. You know where you want to go, but you have to adjust your course to avoid potholes.”

LEAD Expo Celebrates Entrepreneurs

Port-au-Prince, Haiti — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) celebrated the success of dozens Haitian entrepreneurs supported by the LEAD program at a large exposition at the Karibe Hotel on June 8, 2017.  Through the LEAD program (Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments), USAID has provided 45 Haitian and diaspora-led entrepreneurs with the capital and technical support needed to grow their business. Implemented by the PADF, the program supports long-term economic growth in the region.

Each company was awarded a grant after successfully completing a business plan competition. Together, these enterprises have created more than 13,600 jobs in Haiti and are on track to create a total of 18,000 jobs by the end of the year.

“We congratulate the entrepreneurs here today,” said Brian Shukan, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Haiti. “You are the leaders of Haiti’s new economy. The LEAD project’s investment in these innovative entrepreneurs has unlocked millions in private capital. As their businesses grow, we anticipate that they will continue to attract financing from banks and equity investors, driving further economic development.”

Since 2011, USAID has invested $7.4 million in businesses in various sectors of the Haitian economy, unlocking $12.7 million in private capital. LEAD has also delivered more than 10,000 hours of training to entrepreneurs to build their capacity and improve business operations. Together, LEAD supported businesses— from the sanitary paper production plant to the solid waste processing plant, have generated nearly $ 28 million in sales.

“It’s inspiring to be in a room with so many dynamic and creative Haitian entrepreneurs,” says Nadia Cherrouk, PADF country director. “Their businesses are a testament to what can be achieved through hard work and persistence. Through LEAD, we are helping Haitians realize their business goals and creating a network of innovators. These entrepreneurs are paving the way to a more prosperous Haiti.”

The event included a business-to-business networking session to help the entrepreneurs forge important relationships with financial institutions, service providers and sector experts. 

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 following three development corridors: Cap-Haïtien, Saint-Marc, and Port-au-Prince. The project is implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). Since 2011, LEAD has awarded grants ranging from USD$50,000 to $200,000 to 45 small- and medium-sized Haitian enterprises, allowing them to expand their operations and increase employment.

About USAID
The American people, through USAID, have been working around the world for over fifty years in humanitarian assistance and economic growth. For more information about USAID programs in Haiti, visit our website: www.usaid.gov/haiti 

About PADF
PADF is a nonprofit organization that brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. www.padf.org

Ryan Assing and the Potential of Preventing Social Crime

Ryan Assing, the young Trinidadian who was featured in our documentary on social crime prevention, is still fighting for justice and helping to prevent crime. While he was a participant in the program, Ryan and his fellow students took part in mock trials and after-school activities.

"The experience was very nice," he said. "People saw the documentary and actually know about the RAPP program now."

Despite a population of just 1.3 million, the nation of Trinidad and Tobago has more than 100 gangs. It also has the tenth highest murder rate in the world, according to the United Nations. PADF is partnering with the U.S. State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to implement the Resistance and Prevention Program (RAPP), a crime prevention initiative that involves collaboration with law enforcement agencies, government institutions and community groups in Trinidad, the Bahamas and Suriname.

Ryan has finished school, and he's working at a tool store and service center. He's not formally involved in the RAPP program anymore, but the program has left its impact on Ryan and his friends.

"We learned what the justice system is all about," says Ryan, whose brother is still fighting legal battles from behind bars. "We gained knowledge about how the court system is run and how to deal with the crime."

Ryan Assing, his family and RAPP facilitators tell about the RAPP experience and crime in Trinidad & Tobago.

The RAPP program was designed to identify lasting solutions to citizen security in the Caribbean by building trust between police and citizens. Ryan took part in mock trials that showed young people how the court system works. He was also a leader among his peers and classmates. He believes that social crime prevention should have an integral place in Trinidadian society.

"Yes, it can lessen crime," said Ryan. "We need more programs in the community, more dialogue with the youth, more social activities going on. All that could break down crime."

Ryan is still pursuing a career in community organization. He's currently hoping to strengthen his community by working with other organizations that bridge the gap between citizens and politicians.

"The documentary was about me," explained Ryan, "but many people gained from it."  He hopes to continue to be a part of the positive change in Trinidad and the Caribbean.

Mujeres, indígenas y LGBTI, los más excluidos de Latinoamérica, alerta PADF

Lee el artículo en La Vanguardia aqui.

Martí Quintana

México, 18 jun (EFE).- La representante de la Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (PADF), Camila Payan, dijo a Efe que acude este lunes a la Asamblea de la OEA en defensa de los grupos más excluidos de América Latina como las mujeres, los indígenas y el colectivo LGBTI.

"Como organización, promovemos una mejor calidad de vida y derechos para las personas más vulnerables", explicó en entrevista con Efe la directora sénior adjunta de Programas del PADF, Camila Payan.

La PADF, una organización sin ánimo de lucro creada por un acuerdo de cooperación entre la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) y el sector privado, participará mañana en el simposio "Diálogo de la Sociedad Civil", donde se abordarán temas de derechos humanos, democracia y estado de derecho, desarrollo integral, prosperidad y seguridad.

En este simposio, conectarán con otras organizaciones de la sociedad civil a fin de presentar sus perspectivas y preocupaciones a los países miembros de la OEA, con el objetivo de conseguir una región "más inclusiva y estable".

Payan se refirió "a las poblaciones más vulnerables, por ejemplo, las mujeres, los indígenas y la comunidad de lesbianas, gais, transexuales y bisexuales (LGTB), para tratar de llegar a estas personas, que son las más excluidas del hemisferio".

Destacó que aunque se han vivido avances en algunos países en materia económica y de competitividad, como México, Perú, Colombia o Chile, siguen habiendo retos generalizados.

Especialmente en países como Venezuela, que enfrenta una crisis institucional y derechos humanos, o en países de Centroamérica y el Caribe, donde existe una fuerte migración fruto de la violencia.

La seguridad para la representante de la PADF en México, Valeria Uribe, es uno de los problemas "más alarmantes" del país, relacionó los crímenes con la corrupción y situó el problema al mismo nivel que el de la pobreza.

Uno de los grupos más vulnerables es el de los indígenas, y su precaria situación en buena parte del continente se debe a múltiples factores, desde la falta de acceso a servicios básicos a otros tan complejos como la pérdida de sus tierras, destacó Payan.

En este asunto, Uribe agregó que en México parte de la población indígena -conformada por unos diez millones de personas- se ven hoy obligados a emigrar internamente por temas de seguridad y económicos, y este fenómeno va al alza desde hace unos tres años en regiones como Chiapas, en el sureste.

La PADF lleva a cabo varios proyectos para atacar de raíz alguno de esto problemas que afectan a las clases más pobres.

Por ejemplo, en Haití impulsaron un proyecto para desarrollar la pequeña y la mediana empresa, que sigue vigente y, hasta la fecha, ha conseguido crear más de 12.000 oportunidades de empleo.

En Colombia, donde la PADF tiene gran presencia, se han llevado a cabo programas para las víctimas del conflicto, para la agricultura o el desarrollo rural.

Alguno de ellos enmarcados dentro del proceso de paz con las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).

El próximo lunes arranca en Cancún la 47 Asamblea General de la OEA, que tendrá lugar en este balneario del sureste mexicano del 19 al 21 de junio.

Antes de la inauguración oficial, se celebrará una reunión de cancilleres sobre la crisis de Venezuela. EFE

Conference on Crime Prevention in the Caribbean

Paramaribo, Suriname (June 13, 2017) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) will host a regional crime prevention conference in Paramaribo, Suriname. The event will bring together stakeholders from several Caribbean countries to exchange best practices, tools and discuss challenges in addressing crime and violence.

Since 2013, PADF has been implementing a regional program that uses a community-based approach to reduce crime and violence among at-risk youth in the Caribbean. Funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the Resistance and Prevention Program (RAPP) encourages collaboration between law enforcement agencies, government institutions and community groups in Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas.

“Our crime prevention activities have touched thousands of lives in the Caribbean,” says Roberto Obando, PADF Program Director. “This conference is a unique opportunity to bring together participants from around the region to talk about what’s working and what can be improved. Only by working together can we address the root causes of crime.”

To date, the RAPP program has reached more than 8,000 people through crime prevention and community policing programs. The program’s main objective is to build mutual trust between police and law enforcement so that communities can work hand in hand with officials to prevent crime.

Representatives from Trinidad, the Bahamas and Suriname are expected to attend the conference, including senior police officers, lawyers, magistrates, citizen security experts and staff from government ministries including education, national security and urban renewal. 

“We are encouraged by the amount of collaboration and community engagement around reducing crime in the Caribbean,” says Julisara Mathew, Economic Officer of the U.S. Embassy. “The goal is to build on the work that has been done with the RAPP program and continue the dialogue about finding long-term solutions to address crime and violence.”

The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. on June 13, 2017 at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Paramaribo, and will include remarks by representatives from the U.S. Embassy and the Government of Suriname. Some of the speakers are: Jody Witt from the University of Colorado, Andrew Stroude, former Magistrate of Trinidad & Tobago; Catherine DeLaura and Molly Hamm from the Dream Project in the Dominican Republic;  Courtney Brown, from the USAID-funded crime prevention program in Guyana; Hans De Greve from Suriname, and many other scholars and practitioners in the field of citizen security and justice.

The two-day workshop will include discussions on juvenile justice reform, inter-agency collaboration, community engagement to conduct crime prevention activities, school-based crime interventions, youth positive development programs, evidence-based practices to reduce crime and more.

PADF works as a strong advocate for positive youth development throughout the region. Our initiatives focus on employment generation, leadership training, crime and violence prevention and civic participation.

About PADF

The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is an affiliate of the Organization of American States. It was established in 1962 to implement projects that benefit vulnerable and excluded people in Latin America and the Caribbean through the development of public-private partnerships and promotion of corporate social investing. In 2016, the foundation mobilized $95 million, reaching more than 8 million people in 18 countries. www.padf.org

Leveraging Investments with the Haitian Diaspora - USAID

"Today, more than 62 million Americans—a full fifth of the nation—are first or second generation diasporans."

Presented by a recent USAID report, this statistic exposes the potential of diaspora engagement in the United States. Although they may live far away, much of the diaspora population is still closely connected to their country of origin.

Click on the photo to read the report.

Click on the photo to read the report.

The report, released by the U.S. Global Development Lab, highlights several successful engagements of diaspora populations. Funded by USAID, our Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) program is featured for rallying the Haitian diaspora in the United States to support Haitian businesses.

The LEAD program has demonstrated a successful model for developing small- to medium-size enterprises in Haiti. Read more about the LEAD program.

Haiti is Open for Business: Lead Expo 2017

Haiti’s entrepreneurial spirit was on full display at an Expo showcasing Haitian- and diaspora-led businesses in Port-au-Prince on June 8. Dozens of businesses received funding and support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) program, which is implemented by PADF.

With the theme “Engines of Economic Development,” The LEAD Expo was a chance for entrepreneurs to network and display their products to members of the public and private sectors as well as potential investors. U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Brian Shukan congratulated the entrepreneurs on their success. “Today we celebrate you all as you display Haiti's economic potential,” he said in his remarks. Several of the LEAD entrepreneurs also spoke about their experiences running businesses in Haiti.

In total, the 45 LEAD enterprises have stimulated the Haitian economy by creating 13,695 jobs and producing $27.9 million in sales.

LEAD aims to facilitate the mobilization of investment capital from the diaspora and other sources and to increase the impact of that investment in small businesses and community-based social enterprises. Since 2011, USAID has invested $7.4 million in businesses in various sectors of the Haitian economy, unlocking $12.7 million in private capital.

8-Year-Old Raises "Coins for Colombia"

After the April mudslide in Mocoa, Colombia, a relief campaign came from an unlikely source: a third grade classroom.

R.J. Delgado-Borrero, a third grader at Morris Elementary school in Lenox, Mass., has close family ties to Mocoa, where a landslide killed and injured hundreds. Fortunately, his family members were not affected by the incident, but they were still shaken by the tragedy.

"I got sad when my mom told me about it," said R.J.

He and his mother wanted to do something for those affected by the disaster, so they decided to rally the school community to support Mocoa in Colombia's Putumayo department. 

"We planned to raise money for Colombia but we needed the school's help," said R.J.

The Colombian family passed around handwritten flyers asking for donations for Mocoa. Inspired by their effort, the school administration organized a "Coins for Colombia" fundraising drive, donating the proceeds to PADF's Mocoa landslide relief effort.

For a week, teachers shared with their students about the importance of helping people in need. Little by little, students and families donated change and small bills for the cause. By the end of the weeklong campaign, they had collected $645 in donations.

"R.J. shared his concern for his fellow Colombians with such compassion and enthusiasm," said Carolyn Boyce, the principal of Morris Elementary. "He checked in with me every day to see what the status of the drive was."

Boyce added that "he was very concerned that we get 'the right kind of money' to Colombia, because our currency is different than theirs."

R.J. was glad to make a positive difference. "So everyone would know about the drive, I held up the sign in morning car line. Then we raised $645! It made me feel happy that the whole school was trying to help."

After three rivers overflowed in April, landslides killed, injured, and displaced hundreds. PADF responded to the Mocoa landslide, immediately coordinating emergency supplies and health services.

"It was a fantastic opportunity for our school to come together and raise funds for an important cause," said Boyce. "I am very proud of R.J. and the Morris Elementary School community for making a small difference in the lives of people from another country."

PADF Hosts Regional Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction

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Moving Urban Communities Towards Resilience: Progress and Challenges

San Salvador, El Salvador (May 31, 2017) — The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and Taiwan, with the support of the Permanent Risk Management Bureau (MPGR) in El Salvador, will host a regional disaster risk reduction workshop. Titled "Moving Urban Communities Toward Resilience: Advances and Challenges," the workshop will take place May 31 to June 2, 2017.

Delegations from Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and El Salvador will participate in the event. During the meeting, participants, regional institutions and government representatives from El Salvador will exchange experiences about working in disaster management and disaster risk reduction.

The objective of the workshop is to share experiences and best practices for disaster management, with an emphasis on urban resilience. The goals is to create a regional framework to address natural disasters based on the ideas and recommendations of participants.

Central America and the Caribbean are highly vulnerable regions. Natural hazards combined with geographical, political, environmental, social, economic and gender vulnerabilities.        

Between the Managua, Nicaragua earthquake in 1972 and 2010, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recorded natural disasters in 28 countries in the region. The total cost of these disasters was approximately 213 billion dollars and 309,742 deaths, affecting roughly 30 million people.

Given these risks, regional authorities must work together to reduce vulnerabilities and transform the socio-economic factors that prohibit communities from being properly prepared.

The regional workshop is part of the Taiwan-funded Yo Me Preparo project, which seeks to strengthen urban hillside communities that are vulnerable to floods and landslides. The project brings together universities, the private sector and members of the public sector to increase the resilience of the community by promoting climate change adaptation disaster risk reduction.

Since 2012, PADF and Taiwan have collaborated in countries throughout the region in dealing with emergencies and natural disasters. The Taiwan Regional and Disaster Assistance and Reconstruction Program (PADF) has been a five-year alliance to promote preparedness and mitigation programs in six countries.