Sustainable Development in Haiti
When people talk about Haiti, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. But that is not how the Haitian people think of themselves. Haiti has rich culture which, in part, embodies the characteristics of resilience, creativity, ingenuity and faith. Haiti became the world’s first independent black republic and second independent nation in the hemisphere when it successfully conducted a slave rebellion, overthrowing their French colonial masters in 1804.
Since February 2017, the Atlantic-Midwest Province of SSND has been engaged in a partnership in Haiti with Beyond Borders, a non-profit organization working in Haiti for over 20 years. Initially, this collaboration in Haiti focused on developing two Model Community Initiatives (MCIs) in the communities of Ti Palmis and Nan Mango on the island of Lagonav, off the western coast of Haiti. Today, as we enter into a new phase of the partnership, the MCI’s will extend beyond the initial two communities and across Lagonav’s communal section of Ansagale on the island of Lagonav. The collaboration between SSND and Beyond Borders is focused on ending violence against women and girls in Haiti and preventing parents who are poor from sending their children into domestic servitude as restaveks. The Model Community Initiative seeks to provide holistic community-based support to address the root causes of violence and restavek.
As the province’s engagement in Haiti has evolved in partnership with Beyond Borders, SSND sisters, associates and mission colleagues have learned about the urgent needs of the people of Lagonav, Haiti. Our sisters have visited the island and felt compelled to identify further ways that SSND can help support.