Committed to progressively advancing opportunities in sustainably developing communities throughout Haiti.
HSDF uses progressive ideas in sustainably developing communities throughout Haiti. We approach the communities with sensitivity and careful analysis, empowering them to create independent, democratically-conscious communities, without creating a dependency on foreign aid. By allowing the communities to come up with their own projects we give them the confidence and skills needed to finish projects with little outside aid, other than material support and educational seminars on group leadership. HSDF maintains the projects by visiting the sites we develop yearly to maintain close contact with the communities and our projects. In addition,we visit the sites in order to provide technical assistance when needed, and most importantly, we support them emotionally and psychologically, giving them the confidence and motivation to develop and complete projects effectively.
Our Approach to Sustainability
When funding projects, we evaluate each group's ability and understanding of sustainability. We focus our energy on feasible projects that will most likely be successful. Independent, sustainable communities are developed based on the following:
- Create communities that are not dependent on foreign aid
- Allow democratic community groups to collaborate on and initiate projects that they feel will best promote physically, financially, and environmentally healthy communities.
- Monitor projects so that the organizations take responsibility for the effects that their work has on the natural world.
- Consider projects that benefit the majority of the community, as well as those that are humane, worthy, dignified, and intrinsically satisfying in their production processes.
- Long-term results are favored over quick short-term results. Although short-term results are easier and less expensive, they are remarkably less successful over time. Consciousness of sustainability for the benefit of future generations is highly esteemed.
- Inspiring the involvment of women in community projects and/or womens' cooperatives is crucial because of their sensibility towards social issues and their inherent dedication towards ensuring a better future for their children.
HSDF assesses various communities in Haiti through collaboration with former and current Peace Corps Volunteers, who possess a comprehensive knowledge of self-motivated and reliable groups. Through the creation of a Creole-language pamphlet, we distribute information to these communities describing our organization and how they can receive funding. The pamphlet outlines our criteria for funding projects and explains how they can write up a grant proposal.
After we choose a community project to fund, we visit the community and give a seminar on project management and attempt to create a democratic-consciousness within the group. Initially we provide technical assistance to our communities and are there primarily as mentors and motivators. We establish a contact person to maintain correspondence with the community. When we see that the project is on its way to completion, we decrease the amount of supervision and allow the groups to self-manage themselves.
We visit Haiti once or twice a year, for a duration of one to three months. During this time, we develop sites and projects. We also provide assistance, through seminars, and follow-up with existing projects and communities.