Community Success Map
The story of Union of Farmers for the Development of Sans Souci (IPDS), is an example that demonstrates the enormous will of a group of citizens to improve the condition of their community. This group was mostly youth, a marginalized group in the community, and they understood the need to work together. After a training program on community health, they raised awareness and then trained community members on this content, themselves. Their aim was to help reduce the prevalence of transmitted diseases in the area. Following the ABCD approach, they then contributed funds to create a community credit union to help the members of their organization start their own businesses and access funds to meet their needs .
Cooperative for the Development of Saint-Michel de l’Attalaye (COPEDSA) is the effort a group of active citizens that decided it was important to create a cooperative after it was discovered that approximately 10% of the cooperatives in the area were stealing members' money. At the outset, they began by conducting a training people on mango grafting in the community. This enabled them to increase mango production in the area. All this was possible because they believed in themselves to bring the change that they were seeking in their own lives, rather than wait for the outside to do it for them.
Movement of Peasant Organizations' of Saint Michel de l'Attalaye (MOPS) is the story of a community in Haiti that has come together to accomplish great things in the rural communities of St. Michael de L'Attalaye. Their activities are focused around agriculture, community health, rum production and food transformation, and they offer training programs on organizational management as well. This is the packet of services these members have developed to advance their community, and increase their income to be able to take better care of their families.
Education is the key to development. Youth Association for the Advancement and Well Being of Monbin (AJABM) was started by a group of young people from Mombin Crochu who were forced to go to high school in the towns of Hinche and Papaye because there was no secondary school option in their rural community of Mombin Crochu. This group recognized the paramount importance of accessible education. AJABM organized themselves and set up the “Collège l’Espoir " (School of Hope). Despite their lack of financial resources to bring this about, their willingness and determination guided them to success. They succeeded in mobilizing their entire community. Everyone - parents, students and regular residents carried rocks, sand, water and contributed to the effort in many other ways to accompany this young group in the realization of their dream of building a secondary school in Mombin Crochu.
Solidarity Credit Union of Saint-Michel de l’Attalaye (CAPOSOSMA) is a savings and credit cooperative that was created by a group of community members in Saint Michel de l'Attalaye. They were working to address the residents' lack of access to banking and credit services. It was a great relief for people in the community, but it almost all fell apart when a financial crisis closed nearly all of the cooperatives in Haiti around the year 2002. Today, however, thanks to CAPOSASMA's commitment to providing great services to the society, they have become a great success. They now have over 60 million gourdes (USD 730,000) in circulating credit, over 160 million gourds (nearly USD $2 million) in assets and nearly 13,000 cooperative members.
Platana Fruits Processing Cooperative (CONTRAFRUIPLA) was created by a group of women in Saint Michel who saw the importance of setting up a credit granting cooperative after the bankruptcy of several cooperatives within the commune. They are women farmers and therefore established an agricultural cooperative focused on the transformation of all of the local fruit that was wasted because it couldn't get to market in time. They knew that change in their community would have to come from them and that no one would bring it to them, and creatively used their local resources to accomplish this impressive feat.
The Agricultural Cooperative of Active Workers of Montagne Noir (KOATAM) is a community initiative that works on fermentation of cocoa beans in order to sell them to both national and international buyers. The dedication and solidarity seen among farmers inspires great confidence in those who work with them. This cooperative is located in the rural communal section of Montagne Noire, within the commune of Bahon, and is an important economic driver for the North. This story is a model for other towns in the country, demonstrating the impact that inspired leadership can have on community development.
Will and Action for Saint Raphael (VAS) was started by a group of young men and women, who joined together to develop their commune with the very limited financial resources they were able to raise, despite most of them being unemployed. The desire to develop their community was like the air they breathed, they never stopped talking and dreaming together to find the best ways to achieve change. Some community members were distrustful and spread rumors that VAS was stealing the community contributions that they were collecting for their work. Despite this, their first initiative of officially naming all the streets and alleys of Saint Raphael was a great success. After the completion of this beautiful initiative, these previously suspicious onlookers, turned into VAS' biggest defenders and allies.
Gathering of Citizens for the Nation and its Environment (RACINE) is a farmer organization within Saint Michel supporting farmers, livestock breeders and rum producers. Racine holistically addresses many issues to improve the quality of life of their members. They know better organizational capacity, leadership and the ability to manage conflict are assets that can help the group advance and sustain itself. They also sought to defy a common, if unfortunate, characteristic often seen with grassroots organizations in Haiti, which is a lack of transparency (either intentionally or due to limited capacity). To their credit, RACINE has worked diligently to ensure that all the organization's information is accessible to all members, knowing that importance of building trust through transparency.
Youth Movement for the Promotion of the Municipality of Ranquitte (MJPKR) is an initiative created by seven young people in the commune of Ranquitte who worked together to bring solutions to the difficulties that the community faced. They knew that change depended on themselves. There was a water problem that ravaged their commune, which made basic daily needs like bathing and washing very difficult. Despite their scarce resources, they pooled their funds and managed to capture 7 water sources within the commune to provide a solution to this issue. After this work, they turned to reforestation of the Foudòk area, which had been practically stripped of all its trees, with great success.
Solidarity for Haitian Women (SOFA), is a national and regional women's organization created in 1986 in Port-au-Prince. SOFA began its work in the commune of Saint-Michel de L'Attalaye in 1989 thanks to the hard work of well-known feminist, Delicia Jean. Their message of equality between men and women always focused on expanding economic opportunity and justice. With this in mind, they have launched economic development and opportunity initiatives across the region and worked diligently to mobilize the community to recognize the value of women in their local economy and larger society.
Lermithe is an isolated rural communal section within Saint Michel de L'Attalaye, with very little infrastructure, and with an ever-present sense of inferiority when compared to its more integrated neighboring towns. Development success in this community requires a lot of commitment. Today, thanks to the work of Reflection of Organized Citizens to rebuild Lhermite (RECOREL), this very small town has a renewed sense of pride in itself and hope for its future. RECOREL has created winds of change in this community, helping to attract investment that have helped its residents to build a better life, through their dedication and commitment to building capacity and resources of the town from the inside out.