Raising Haiti/APF -- A Friend Of Haiti And Rural Peasants

In 1988, Father Joseph founded the Asosyasyon Peyizan Fondwa (Association of the Peasants of Fondwa/APF Haiti) which now boasts enablement of commercial businesses, a primary and secondary school serving some 700 students, an orphanage, a community radio station, programs in renewable energy, water purification, reforestation and agriculture and more.


APF supports local grassroots empowerment combined with a focus of increasing fundamental rural skills through higher education -- with local college graduates returning to their home communities -- and the creation of economic opportunity through the small business incubators .


 Caritas Italiana provided APF with a substantial grant to undertake a pilot project: researching the current state of organization within forty communities spanning four states (South-East, West, The Artibonite Valley and the Central Plateau). 


From this was  born a structure that APF now refers to as Local Development Committees (LDC). These consultative bodies provide a collaborative approach designed to bring together a local communities’ often fragmented resources to drive economic development.    This approach also affects "bottom-up" innovation and infrastructure creation


Importantly, LDCs have become a central part of Raising Haiti/APF's 3-Legs Program, and both the LDCs and the 3-Legs program overall provide the basis for fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals of Eradicating Poverty, Eliminating Hunger, Enabling Wellbeing, Providing Clean Water and Energy, Fostering Innovation and Industry, Assuring Inclusion, Forging Partnerships and more.

 FJN's 3-Legs Initiative

Leg 1:  Community Organization

A rural community forms a Local Development Committee (LDC) which is trained by an Animator who receives monthly training and ongoing support by the

Association of Peasants of Fondwa (APF).


Leg 2: Economic Opportunity

The LDC is given seed money,  proven economic development tools and support to enable economic growth and increase wealth throughout  the community.


Leg 3:  Human Resource Development/Higher Education

The LDC chooses secondary school graduates to attend the University of Fondwa (UFondwa), Haiti’s only rural university, on a grant provided by Raising Haiti.  Three students are enrolled: one to study agronomy, one veterinary medicine, and one business management, all subjects needed in rural settings, where 75% of Haitians reside. The university students sign a contract that they will return to their home communities after graduation to work with the LDC to bring wealth to the area.

LEG 1 -- LOCAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEES:


The first leg is developing local grassroots organizations through the creation and training of Local Development Committees (LDCs) within each rural community.

These committees are trained by Asosyasyon Peyizan Fondwa (the Association of the Peasants of Fondwa - APF), a national organization with 30 years of experience and extraordinary accomplishments in Fondwa and beyond.


Currently APF has 30 LDCs in five states including the Artibonite Valley, Central Plateau, South-East, South and Grand’Anse and one small group in each one of the other five states.


FJN is in the process of creating and establishing a Local Development Committee (LDCs) in each of 572 rural communities.


With adequate funding, LDCs  can include providing economic development toolkits.


Through Local Development Committees (LDCs), APF aligns three groups of actors in each of the communities who are working for the benefit of the people, but who are working back-to-back vs. collaboratively:

1) Local Organizations, including as many as 6-12 local organizations;

2) Professionals, who come once or twice a year to work in the community;

3) Elected Officials of the Azek and Kazek governing bodies.


The LDCs are comprised of

five (5) people, including: two representatives of the local organizations; one professional who will make a commitment to live in the community for three years, and two elected officials from the local Azek and Kazek governing bodies.


APF will help the LDC manage the community resources through the leadership of a full-time APF Field Consultant / Animator and three students/ college graduates from University of Fondwa.


To manage the LDCs and genuinely fuel economic development, the LDC will require a 5-year budget.


The $75,000 annual budget is broken down as follows:

 $15,000 for University of Fondwa tuition for three students per year to attend the Agronomy, Veterinary and Business Schools;

 $25,000 for the LDC office, equipment, energy, training, animator salary and transportation.

 $10,000 for APF oversight, project management, and harnessing of resources from Fonkoze, University

of Fondwa, private partnerships and other organizations;

 $25,000 for pursuing

economic investment activities.















Local Community Development

LEG 2 -- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:


The second leg of the stool is the creation of a model for economic development.    There is an urgent need to help identify resources at the local level and to provide sustainability through the development and maintenance of those resources within the local communities.


Small business projects launched by Fonkoze and APF in Fondwa provide models for the manner in which local organizations and ingenuity can be combined to begin the process of wealth creation within Haiti’s myriad rural communities.


APF will work closely with the local LDCs, the community’s UNIF graduates and the university in an effort to create income producing ventures, sustainable businesses and economic development projects. 


3 Legs will encourage conversations about possible Economic Investment Activities and attempt to raise funding to help launch those initiatives which hold the greatest promise of sustainability.


Economic Investment Activities can include  “pre-packaged” economic development tools and opportunities such as:


`1.) Smart Smallholder Farming and Value Chain Support of such valuable crops as Sweet Potatoes


2.) Microgirds and Utility Entrepreneurship


Smart, Sweet Potato Farming & Value Chain Optimization


This economic development strategy includes FJN providing a smallholder farmer toolkit of: clean plants; growing resources such as farm implements, drip irrigation and smart farming technology; crop buy-backs; value-added manufacturing (including a children’s food program and nutrition bar); marketing; and sales.


This initiative will also include agri-business training; smart farming  "Internet of Things" technology support for optimization of growth and collaborative plant replications(and for helping to close the global digital divide);  help producing optimum farm income and profits through instituting best practices from the U. S. and globally; and tracking of outcomes across  new metrics of crop-per-drop, yield-per-harvest, farmer profitability, and nutritional impacts.


Intelligent Community Microgrids

& Utility Entrepreneurship

as a critical infrastructure and economic enabler. 


Resources will include solar panels, inverters, storage, equipment for installations; purpose-based applications such as solar irrigation and product manufacturing; and systems for administration, marketing and payment processing. (NOTE:  depending on the scope of the Microgrid, FJN and the LDCs may need additional funds for this.)


Beyond supplying empowering electricity, when deploying the Microgrid solution FJN will also enable Solar Utility entrepreneurs, including training illiterate women in solar panel installations and in operating utility-type businesses. 


Fonkoze Client

LEG 3 -- HIGHER EDUCATION:


At present Less than 1% of high school graduates in Haiti attend post-secondary education5.  Less than 25% of those who do complete college remain in Haiti. 


This brain-drain is among the worst in the world.


Further, university level education has been concentrated mostly in Haiti’s more populous centers and has done little to promote the principles of rural-based wealth creation.


So, in 2004, at the 200th anniversary of Haiti’s independence, Father Joseph presented his country with a gift in the form of the creation of the University of Fondwa (UNIF), Haiti’s only rural university. 


UNIF’s focus is providing higher education toward the specific goal of developing wealth in Haiti’s rural communities. 


The university offers three degrees - agronomy, veterinary medicine and business administration. 


While additional degree programs are planned, Father Joseph believes that these three disciplines provide the most fundamental foundation necessary for the creation of wealth within the farm-based communities of rural Haiti. 


His hope is to return students educated in these respective fields to their home communities providing a growing resource of Haitian professionals throughout the 570 communal sections.


As of Fall 2016-17 the University of Fondwa serves some 90 students. Expansion to accommodate students from rural communities throughout the country is planned over the coming decade.


In late 2016, the Raising Haiti Foundation launched its Rural Development Scholarship Initiative (RDSI) as part of the 3 Legs project. 


The goal of the scholarship campaign is to raise funding in the US in order to provide qualified students from Haiti’s rural communities student loans to be forgiven (converted to scholarships) in exchange for three-years of post graduate service in the student’s home community.


The pilot phase of the project currently being implemented added eighteen students for UFondwa attendance, selected by six respective Local Development Committees, and began in the Spring of 2017.























UNIF Students

Communities Across Haiti Are Harnessing FJN's LDC & Three Legs Initiative

Communities Leveraging The 3 Legs Initiative


Click Here To  Learn More About The 3 Legs Strategy

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