The Haitian Coalition of Somerville Partners with Institution Vision Nouvelle to Build Capacity in Limbe, Haiti
On November 9th, the Haitian Coalition of Somerville travelled to Haiti to lead a training in participatory project planning in Limbe, the second largest city in the North of Haiti
As the second part of our Haitian Diaspora in Development program the training had the goal of empowering Haitians to promote change in their communities. We are thankful to Lince Semerzier who successfully facilitated the two day training and taught 31 local Haitians the tools to identify issues in their community and develop sustainable and inclusive responses.
The Coalition worked in partnership with a local school, Institution Vision Nouvelle, which provided the classroom space and recruited interested community members to participate. The training drew a diverse group with a wide cross section of backgrounds including engineers, doctors, teachers, agronomists, pastors and magistrates.
While guiding the group through activities that identified root causes of issues, Lince also had participants identify the resources that they already had in the community to address them.
By the end of the first day, participants had identified the following needs in Limbe and possible solutions:
The on-going risk of flooding and the need for a levee system,
The high rates of alcohol abuse, and the need for an educational campaign around the risks of alcohol consumption
The lack of resources for their community’s youth, and the need for a youth center
The need for a health response to the high rates of diabetes in the in the community.
For the next part of the session, Lince taught the group the basic structure of a project plan to help them clearly identify their project goals, objectives and subsequent activities, outputs and indicators to measure success.
The participants spent most of the remaining training working in groups and putting together a project plan to address the need that they had identified.
By the end of the training, many stated that they had never understood exactly what a project was before the training. After the workshops, they understood what steps went into developing a sustainable project and felt empowered to start promoting change in their communities!
The feedback from the training was extremely positive and there were requests for the Coalition to come back to lead another capacity building training. Specific requests were made for a training in fundraising and we are exploring ways to organize a second trip in 2015.
We look forward to a continued partnership with Limbe in promoting stronger communities and positive change in Haiti!
The Coalition trains local Haitian Organizations in Fundraising and Communications Plan Development
On July 12th, the Haitian Coalition of Somerville completed our 3rd session of the Haitian Diaspora in Development, (HDD), workshop series.
HDD serves local Haitians who are actively promoting development in Haiti by training them in the technical skills necessary to implement small-scale development projects in their communities of origin. This series moved beyond previous topics of project planning and management to teach more advanced skills in monitoring and evaluation and how to develop strategic fundraising and communications plan.
For this session we had an outstanding group of 8 individuals and representatives of local, diaspora led organizations that are addressing the needs of their communities in Haiti. Whether they have been providing food and education to orphaned girls, providing literacy training for women, sponsoring Haitian students to complete their education or bringing electricity rural villages, these dynamic members of the diaspora are addressing critical needs in their communities back home. Yet all joined the program with the wish to become more financially sustainable organizations. In response, the series specifically focused on helping participants define their organization’s niche, identify potential supporters and craft their messages to appeal to specific audiences.
Some of the organizations that completed the program included:
Ray of Hope Children Services, Inc, whose mission is to empower the under-served girls with no parents in Haute Feuille, Haiti and its neighboring towns through education and to enhance their lives by providing food and shelter. Ray of Hope currently provides daily nutritious meals, education and a nurturing environment to 30 orphaned girls in Haute Feuille who have no other support. Find out more at www.rohcsi.org,
Jou Novou seeks to improve the quality of life throughout the targeted neighborhoods of Bon Repos, Haiti, by providing people with the tools of education, access to health instruction and care, financial support and hope for a better life. Although services are also open to men, the essence of Jou Nouvo is to provide women with an opportunity to acquire skills so that they may be involved with the schooling of their children and to promote good health habits for themselves and their family. Find out more at http://jounouvo.pidonline.org
UDH Services, UDH Services, Inc. of Massachusetts has the mission to rebuild the country of Haiti through motivated and educated future leaders. They provide assistance to students from low income families in Haiti who are eager to obtain their bachelor’s degree at a university. UDH will also ensure that students have access to a proper education by providing them with the school supplies and financial assistance required to achieve their goals. Find out more at http://udhservices.org
Cote de Fer Planters in Actions whose mission is to find long term and sustainable solutions to hunger and poverty in Cote de Fer, Haiti through economic development strategies that both produce organic foods and protect the environment. Please contact the Haitian Coalition of Somerville for more information about Cote de Fer Planters in Action and how you can help.
The Michel Foundation aims bring electricity to the rural community of Jereme and subsequently reduce nighttime crime and increase the sense of safety so important to a community’s development. The Michel Foundation also plans to launch a campaign to raise awareness of violence against women. Please contact the Haitian Coalition of Somerville for more information about the Michel Foundation and how you can help.
In November the Haitian Coalition of Somerville will send three trainers to Haiti to run capacity building workshops in the communities of Balan and Limbe. The three day workshop will train 20 Haitians from two local ngos in participatory project planning, management and budgeting.
Please contact Franklin Dalembert at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can support the Haitian Coalition and our work to strengthen the capacity of Haitians in Haiti and the diaspora to lead the development process in their country and homeland.
Join us for our 11th Fundraising Gala at the Somerville Holiday Inn on 30 Washington Street, Somerville, MA. Saturday, June 14 from 7-11pm.
Enjoy an eveining full of live entertainment as we celebrate the success, accomplishments and future of the Haitian Coalition. The goal of this year's gala is to revitalize our youth programs and support services.
Call us at 617-625-6440 for more information or if you'd like to become a sponsor.
You're Invited to the Haitian Diaspora in Development Series
On March 9th, the Haitian Coalition of Somerville will begin the second Haitian Diaspora in Development Workshop Series, (HDD)to serve anyone in the greater Boston area actively promoting development in Haiti or aspiring to do so. HDD is a 12-week, technical-skills training that will build the capacity of local diaspora members to plan, implement and oversee successful development projects while increasing visibility and support for their work. Over the course of 12 Saturdays, from March 9th-June 8th, up to 30 participants will gain skills in
· Participatory project planning
· Project management, budgeting
· Fundraising and partnership building
Throughout the trainings, participants will also gain concrete planning experience by designing projects for optimal positive impact on communities in Haiti. By the project's conclusion, participants will have a basic logical framework and budget to guide their future work and the fluency in core development concepts that will make them more competitive for larger funding sources.
Additionally, the workshops will include a train-the-trainers component so that graduates will be able to transfer the skills they learned either to communities in Haiti or here in the Boston area. The workshop activities will also emphasize participatory processes in order to ensure that when projects are implemented, community members are involved in the decision-making processes, including those who are illiterate or at risk of being socially excluded. The trainings will be based on Mercy Corps’ Localizing Institutional Capacity in Sudan program (LINCS) and will be adapted for a Haitian context and needs.
Images From the Coalition's Humanitarian Mission in Haiti
The Haitian Coalition of Somerville
The Haitian Coalition is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the social, educational, and economic development of Haitian youth and families living in Somerville and the Greater Boston area.It was founded to serve Haitians living in Somerville and surrounding communities following the flight of thousands of Haitians to the Greater Boston area after a September 1991 military coup in Haiti.
Haitian activists founded the Coalition in 1992 to meet the needs of these new immigrants who lacked the resources to thrive in Massachusetts.By 1997, the Coalition had gathered enough support from the community to become an independent nonprofit organization. In its early years, the Coalition fought racism, promoted Haitian culture, and helped Haitian residents gain access to services and programs from legal aid, social services, voter registration, and small business training.
Today, we continue to offer these and similar resources to our clientele primarily comprising of underserved Haitian immigrants.We offer literacy, ESOL and citizenship classes for adult learners and the elderly; health and education campaigns; support services and tobacco education for youths; parenting workshops and more.One of our newest initiatives is a partnership with Tufts University that brings resources to residents of Haitiís Balan community.