Community Development | Empowering Families, Creating Neighborhoods that Thrive

Thriving and economically prosperous neighborhoods are at the heart of building back a stronger Haiti. J/P HRO’s Community Development Program—comprised of Education, Community and Livelihoods—is driving this effort in the Delmas 32 neighborhood. Our team works hand in hand with local residents, community leaders and local institutions, supporting them as they seek to fortify community links and create revitalized, dynamic neighborhoods.

An integrated approach is essential for the Community Development Program in order to promote the following objectives:

  • To strengthen community links through a series of local capacity building and organizational development initiatives
  • To promote revitalization in local neighborhoods
  • To support economic recovery through the creation of robust business opportunities for local residents
  • To encourage and engage all stakeholders within the target communities and further their progress toward community-driven by adopting an inclusive and participatory approach toward the decision-making process on community interventions that will affect them
  • To improve the quality of education for local youth, recognizing that they are the future community leaders

Education

A quality education is every child’s right and the cornerstone of a promising future for Haiti. In the early days of the earthquake emergency response, J/P HRO established a school, Ecole de l’Espoir, to provide a free, quality primary education for more than 260 children living in the Pétionville Camp. Over the last three academic years, the J/P HRO Education Program has successfully maintained and managed the school, including 17 teachers, two principals and two assistant principals and 12 classes of students.

J/P HRO is keeping in step with community needs as they evolve. Today, as displaced families relocate to permanent homes in nearby neighborhoods, our program focus has shifted to support existing neighborhood schools. Currently, the primary goal of the J/P Education Program is to help implement the national school curriculum, as outlined by the Ministry of Education, while creating a model micro school district in the Delmas 32 neighborhood. J/P HRO’s Delmas 32 Education Revitalization Initiative is impacting 6,000 students currently going to school in the community. In partnership with AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team ) and Local Capacity Alliance-Haiti (LOCAL-HAITI, the Delmas 32 Education Revitalization Initiative includes a teacher training program that includes 120 teachers in 22 schools, reaching more than 3,000 students.

With the aim to innovate in the classroom and improve academic outcomes, the Delmas 32 Revitalization Project provides curriculum development support to teachers, enabling them to adopt forward-looking practices that encourage critical thinking among their students. For school administrators, this program provides organizational development support to optimize management of their respective institutions and bridge existing gaps between needs and currently available resources. At its core, the Delmas 32 Education Revitalization Project serves as a professional support network for all educational professionals in the community.

Community

The Community Program is committed to enriching the lives of local residents by providing diverse academic, athletic and artistic activities for people of all ages. J/P HRO’s community center, Kay Kominote, is at the heart of the program and was borne out of J/P HRO’s emergency response assistance in the Pétionville Camp. Today, Kay Kominote has more than 25 adult and youth volunteers and hosts a breadth of activities in which more than 250 community members take part every week.

The Adolescent Girls Initiative, funded by The World Bank, is another project housed under the Community Program. This engages 200 local girls in a six-month life skills and professional training course. The participants also take part in specialized training in vocational fields currently in demand in Haiti such as construction, carpentry, plumbing and masonry and go on to an internship to complete their certificate. By the end of the program, these girls will have acquired professional skills needed to join the workforce.

As more families transition to nearby neighborhoods and needs evolve, J/P HRO’s Community Development Program seeks to build on our existing commitment and relationships with local residents, to increase reach and impact. In the coming months, we are preparing a larger space and Kay Kominote will expand into a Community Development Campus. Meanwhile, the team is developing a community engagement strategy—working through an established community platform and local organizations—to identify residents’ priorities and ensure there is an effective feedback mechanism to evaluate the impact of J/P HRO projects.

In addition to working closely with the Education and Livelihoods programs, the team actively supports initiatives led by J/P HRO teams—Medical, Community Protection, Relocations and Engineering and Construction.

Our program schedule is diverse, including:

English as a Second Language
Family Planning
Public Health Education
Martial Arts Club
Art
Film Night
Reading Club
Community Based Organization Training

Parents Club
Disaster Preparedness
Homework Tutoring
Dance Club
Music Classes
Debate Club
Library Services
Gender and Violence Workshops

Livelihoods

The goal of the J/P HRO Livelihoods Program is to contribute to the sustainable economic resiliency of vulnerable families, capacity building of skilled micro-entrepreneurs and to support economic development in the areas where we work. Program initiatives are designed to reduce and eliminate the socioeconomic barriers that many vulnerable community members face. By improving income-generating opportunities and access to financial resources, our programs aim to enhance the overall economic landscape of local communities and greater prosperity for all.

Current programs are focusing on vocational training, the creation of community-based savings groups, financial and business management training, and the development of income-generating activities. These programs also emphasize strategies focusing on value chain and strengthening market linkages, so as to increase quality and competitiveness of small and microenterprise within specific economic sectors.

Key Accomplishments to Date

Education:

  • 108 school teachers from 22 participating schools receive training on innovative teaching practices, which will impact more than 6,000 students
  • 260 students are enrolled from the J/P HRO-managed School of Hope, an accredited private primary school accessible to children living in the Petionville Camp and surrounding neighborhoods
  • 2 schools were repaired in the community, improving the safety of over 170 students
  • 30 hand washing stations were installed at 30 local schools, providing a place for students to practice good hygiene practices

Community:

  • More than 250 community members participate in activities held at the J/P HRO Community Center
  • each week, where 36 community members volunteer their time, giving a total of 120 hours of their time each month
  • 94 adolescent girls graduated from an intensive training program which included 170 hours of life skills and 450 hours of vocational training for each participant
  • 26 Community-Based Organizations are currently being supported by J/P HRO through a capacity building program

Livelihoods:

  • 963 individuals have been trained on business management
  • Two J/P HRO-supported local associations received legal status with the Government of Haiti
  • $40,920 was disbursed to 372 families previously living in camp to invest in their businesses
  • $7,263 was earned by a J/P HRO-supported local artisans cooperative called the Hands Together Cooperative
  • 2,000 community members have participated in small business management training; 15-20 new participants engage in livelihood and vocational trainings each week