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Makouti Agro-Enterprises is an agricultural business and marketing cooperative established in 2004 to increase food security and farmer and producers incomes. Since its inception, Makouti Agro-Enterprises has worked with Partners of the Americas to increase the capacity of producers through volunteer expertise that have traveled to Haiti under the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program. For the past ten years Haitian beekeepers have expanded the number of hives in the country and the amount of honey being produced and sold in markets. Honey used to be sold in old rum bottles or small plastic bags; however, plastic bottles are now available allowing beekeepers to sell their honey to supermarkets and other markets. Makouti Agro-Enterprises requested the assistance of FAVACA to provide a volunteer to assess the beekeepers' markets to sell their products and provide recommendations to compete with imported honey products. FAVACA in collaboration with Partners of the Americas recruited Lonnie Funderburg, a master beekeeper and an owner and operator of an apiary where he bottles, labels, and markets honey and hive products. He traveled to Haiti from October 22-November 4, 2012 to work with local beekeepers and Makouti Agro-Enterprises on increasing market presence, assessing markets and providing recommendations on improving their products in Port-au-Prince, Aquin, Arcahaie, Cap Haitien and Ouanaminthe. Funderburg offered suggestions to improve labels, specifying the quantity of honey in the bottle and including the words "pure honey" so consumers know what the bottles contain. Funderburg also offered suggestions on improving the bottling process. For example, some bottles contained rings of foam at the top, an indication the honey was not allowed the necessary time to settle. Lastly, Funderburg noticed many beekeepers with a large amount of available wax which could be used to create products such as lotions, creams and lip balms and marketed to stores across the country. As a result of the training, beekeepers now have a better understanding of the bottling process and know what information needs to be added to their labels to compete with imported products. 


Makouti Agro-Enterprises has been working with Haitian livestock producers to increase the quantity of livestock available in Haiti and to improve nutrition and reproductive health. Goats and livestock in general are important commodities in the Haitian economy and families count on selling livestock to help pay for schools, funerals or other major expenses. When livestock is lost due to poor health or during pregnancy, producers find it difficult to recover economically. To continue their work of helping livestock producers increase their knowledge to increase the health and quantity of goats, Makouti Agro-Enterprises requested the assistance of FAVACA to provide an expert to work with livestock producers to help improve breeding selection and reproduction of goats. FAVACA in collaboration with Partners of the Americas, recruited Schauston Miller, Research Professional at Fort Valley State University, to travel to Haiti from September 29-October 14, 2012 to work with Haitian livestock owners. Miller focused on special care that livestock producers need to provide to goats before and after breeding as well as breeding stock selection. Due to a lack of reproduction management Haitian producers do not keep records for the dates of breeding, kidding or weaning of their goats. There is also no naming or numbering of does and bucks nor are any records kept for dates of sale or transfer. Miller taught producers the importance of record keeping and reproduction management. Similarly, reproductive selection was taught to ensure bucks don't mate with family members. Miller trained on natural and artificial insemination to improve the genetics of goats and several methods of castration. Miller recommended that Haitian goat producers form a goat meat association to continue to increase the capacity of the industry in Haiti.


The mission of 100k Jobs Haiti is to transform Haiti's 40 largest cities and create 100,000 sustainable new jobs in Haiti by 2020 by building the capacity of existing Haitian businesses, creating new strategic alliances, and encouraging Haitian businesses to purchase locally.  100k Jobs Haiti requested FAVACA's assistance to develop an online strategy to create awareness among donors, international organizations and businesses.  100k Jobs Haiti selected Ann Marie Warmenhoven, an expert in social media development, to provide the assistance.  Warmenhoven conducted her first training session with the staff to review their current social media activities and determine baseline information and the capacity of the organization to carry out social media.  She also conducted a workshop on Online Listening and Engaging to understand the organization's social media strategy and objectives for messaging.  Warmenhoven trained 100k Jobs Haiti staff on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Hootesuite, Tweetdeck,, and Twitter Feed, set up the organization's Twitter account, and taught them to follow select organizations and start a dialogue.  Warmenhoven worked with staff to invite existing contacts to "like" the organization on Facebook, set up Hootesuite and Tweetdeck and develop content for the social media platforms.  The volunteer also provided information about RSS Feeds (Rich Site Summary), which allows a person to stay informed by retrieving the latest information from websites of interest without actually needing to visit each site individually.  Warmenhoven reviewed the organization's existing web page to identify areas of improvement, train staff on creating a calendar for blog posts, add social media widgets, transfer static pages to blogs and discuss what needed to be done to develop a social media campaign.  They researched options for campaign tools, called providers and set up a trial on Nationbuilder, a Community Organizing System that offers software platforms to help leaders grow and organize communities.  The volunteer and the staff discussed creating compelling content and brainstormed about 100k Jobs Haiti's logo.  Warmenhoven also guided a basic training on social media and social media campaigns with 30 small business owners.  As a result of Warmenhoven's training, a social media strategy chart was developed to identify key strategies, resources and objectives of the 100k Jobs Haiti campaign.


Haiti's current hotel room capacity is under 1,000 rooms in comparison to the neighboring Dominican Republic with 50,000 rooms.  In the coming years, Haiti's hotel room capacity is set to grow by 300%, with several international hotel chains investing in the country.  The demand for supervisory and line employees trained in food and beverage, housekeeping, property management, customer service, and other hospitality and tourism areas is on the rise.  The Karibe Hotel, located in Petion-Ville, is one of many local hotels investing in operational improvements.  In order to enhance his guests' experience, Richard Buteau, the Karibe Hotel's General Manager, requested assistance from FAVACA to address challenges in customer service, food and beverage management, and cost and quality control.  David Edwards, an Assistant Professor at Johnson & Wales University with 15 years experience in the hospitality management and a long history of teaching, mentoring, and conducting seminars and workshops, traveled to Haiti June 20-24, 2012.  Edwards toured the property and met with the General Manager and Director of Food and Beverage to discuss areas of pressing concern.  Edwards provided the management team with a customer service seminar explaining the need to exceed guest expectations and the impact service delivery has on operating results.  He observed various aspects of food and beverage operations, identified areas of concern, and addressed inventory exercises and organizational skills with staff.  Edwards met with the Human Resources and Accounting Manager to discuss the cost control and inventory procedures and helped design a ticketing system to improve controls.  Edwards suggested the establishment of a central drop-off point for guest comment cards to be discussed weekly in staff meetings and increased social media presence and monitoring of internet travel sites for comments made by past visitors.  These important changes will not only ensure positive customer relations and increased business revenues, but also upgrade the hotel's competitive standing with international hotels coming online in Haiti. 


The Karibe Hotel, located in Petion-Ville Haiti, is one of many local hotels investing in improving its operations.  The development of Haiti's tourism industry will be an important factor in the country's overall sustainable development and improvement in the Haitian economy.  In order for the Karibe Hotel to increase business and customer satisfaction, the hotel sought improvements in the level of service of the Food and Beverage, Maintenance, and Housekeeping departments.  Richard Buteau, the General Manager of the Karibe Hotel, requested assistance from FAVACA to provide volunteers in the afore-mentioned fields. Magaline Goman, a Haitian-American working in the hospitality sector since 1999 and an Adjunct Faculty member in the Hospitality Management Department at Johnson &Wales University in Miami, traveled to the Karibe Hotel June 10-20.  The objective of the training was to address the Karibe hotel's challenges in staff motivation, interdepartmental communications, housekeeping standards and controls, and preventative maintenance with the overall goal of improving customer service of the hotel industry in Haiti.  Goman trained 20 individuals from the Karibe Hotel, Servotel Hotel, Palm Inn, Le Chateau Phoenix, as well as addressed a class of 24 students at the hotel school. Goman met with representatives from every department at the Karibe Hotel and provided individual department trainings in housekeeping, food and beverage, the convention center management, room and ground maintenance, front office management, and human resources. Goman addressed concerns of interdepartmental communications, the lack of supervisory staff, and quality controls for each department.  Goman suggested managers hold employees accountable, recognize employees that perform well, offer more staff training opportunities, encourage managers to proactively listen to their employees and introduce "contests" to motivate employees.  Goman offered training tools catered to each department and assisted in the development of a "perfect room program," a room service menu, and Standard Operations Procedure Manuals for each department.  Many of Goman's suggestions have already been implemented and are helping the Karibe and other members of the hotel industry in Haiti create a first class operation and a strong culture of unparalleled service delivery.


The Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH) provides training and resources to increase and improve the standards of journalism throughout Haiti.  The AJH headquarters suffered considerable damage from the 2010 earthquake.  Most of their equipment resources were destroyed and their capacity to train journalists was considerably weakened.  Journalists in the provinces rely on the capital for their news stories; therefore, they have little experience and knowledge on writing an investigative series for media outlets.  With the influx of funding for reconstruction, investigative stories are needed to ensure transparency in the use of this money for development projects.  Due to the success of training in Gonaives in May 2012, AJH requested the assistance of FAVACA to provide investigative journalism training in Port-de-Paix. AJH has a strong network of journalists in Port-de-Paix that are very knowledgeable and motivated to improve the quality of news coming out of the city and department, but they lack the knowledge to produce investigative news pieces.  Kathie Klarreich, a Knight International Journalism Fellow at the International Center for Journalists and former ABC News bureau chief for their Haiti office, traveled to Port-de-Paix June 1-5, 2012 to train twenty-one journalists on conducting an investigation.  Each participant received a manual which allowed them to participate in various exercises for small groups and contained handouts for future use.  Klarreich helped the participants identify the difference between an investigative and conventional news piece and guided group exercises to discuss investigative news stories.  Klarreich asked each participant to develop an investigative article from a published article she gave them.  Due to experience from the previous training in Gonaives, Klarreich emphasized ethics in journalism to ensure news segments are factual and meet certain ethical standards.  Klarreich provided tips on getting the most out of interviews and techniques to verify information.  Participants discussed successful tactics they have used in the past to interview people and techniques that help or hurt an investigation.  Each participant was asked to create their own investigative story drawing on the knowledge they gained through the training. Klarreich's colleague, Jacques Desrosier, provided a follow up training to the same twenty-one journalists attended from June 15-18, 2012.


Established in 2003, the Coalition of Progressive Youth in Mathurin (Regroupements des Jeunes Progressistes de Mathurin - REJEPMA) is a group of fifty young Haitian professionals trying to improve economic opportunities for the rural community through new methods of farming and economic literacy.  An area of particular emphasis has been the improvement and growth of beekeeping.  To further increase the knowledge of beekeeping, REJEPMA requested the assistance of FAVACA to conduct training on hive management, pest management and by-product developement in Plaissance de Sud and Fond de Blanc.  Many new beekeepers have joined REJEPMA in Plaissance de Sud and need training on maintaining and expanding their beekeeping enterprises.  Beekeepers in Fond de Blanc have well established hives and honey production but lack knowledge in pest management causing many to lose hives from infestations.  Bo Sterk and Jo Sinclair traveled to Haiti May 26-June 3, 2012 and provided an overview of bee anatomy and biology to ensure that new beekeepers understood the dynamics of bees and their impact on agriculture.  The Haitian beekeepers often leave too much space between frames in their hives, which allows pests to enter.  The volunteers provided lectures on hive management focusing on spacing issues within the hive.  Beekeepers also extract honey too often, reducing the bees' food source and resulting in bee starvation.  Harvesting honey too early also results in fermentation and spoilage of the honey. Sterk and Sinclair showed beekeepers when a comb is ready for extraction.  Additional lectures were provided on the biology of the varroa mite, identifying mites, protecting against mite infestations, queen rearing, royal jelly extraction and propolis.  The Haitian beekeepers were very interested in rearing queens to control the temperament of hives and improve honey production.  Finally Sterk and Sinclair demonstrated candle-making by safely heating the beeswax once honey was extracted, cleaning the wax to remove impurities, and creating molds to make several varieties of candles from existing local materials.  Beekeepers are now looking forward to selling their improved honey and by-products in local markets.


The Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH) aims to increase the capacity of journalists in Haiti by providing training and resources to increase and improve the standards of journalism in the provinces.  Typically journalists in the provinces rely on the capital for retransmitting news and have little experience and knowledge in writing an investigative series for media outlets.  With the influx in aid money coming into the country and reconstruction taking place outside of the capital, investigative stories are needed to ensure the money provided for development projects is directed to the appropriate places.  AJH requested the assistance of FAVACA to teach investigative journalism in Gonaives.  FAVACA recruited Kathie Klarreich, a Knight International Journalism Fellow at the International Center for Journalists and former ABC News bureau chief in their Haiti office.  Klarreich held two weekend sessions with journalists in Gonaives to collect the content needed to compose an investigative news piece and a follow up session the following weekend to review the investigative reports drafted by participants.  More than twenty journalists attended the initial training May 11-14, 2012.  The participants began by learning to distinguish the difference between an investigative and a conventional news piece.  Each participant received a manual which contained various exercises for small groups and handouts for future use.  Klarreich provided a series of guided trainings and lectures stressing the difference between an investigative report and a regular report.  She worked with participants on developing hypothesis and the basic elements of an investigation, conducting an interview and research, and composing various components of a story.  Klarreich gave each participant an assignment to come up with an investigation story to practice methods learned.  The following weekend the participants discussed the investigations and suggestions for improvements were provided.  To help participants continue to produce investigative stories, Klarreich provided sessions on building resources, cultivating sources, putting together a comprehensive investigative plan and verifying information for validity.


The town of Jérémie is approximately 100 miles from the capital of Haiti.  Since the 2010 earthquake, the population of Jérémie has increased from those individuals whose homes and businesses were destroyed in the capital.  The increase in population adds to already overburdened institutions providing healthcare, education, justice and other services to local residents.  Severe overcrowding affects prisons around Haiti including the prison in Jérémie. Many prison inmates are pre-trial detainees or persons confined beyond their sentences.  In fact in Jérémie nearly 80% of the prison inmates fall in these categories.  The Catholic School of Law in Jeremie (Ecole Catholique de Droit de Jérémie -ESCDROJ) is the only university-affiliated legal clinic in Haiti that provides legal assistance to indigent defendants in criminal courts.  ESCDROJ requested FAVACA's assistance in training law students in legal aid programs and defend their thesis.  Increasing law student graduates will help ensure a safe and successful the community and could eventually decrease the number of backlogged legal cases and inmates in the Jérémie prison.  Troy Elder, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at Florida International University's School of Law and a lawyer at Americans for Immigrant Justice, traveled to Haiti May 5-12, 2012 to work with 6 law students preparing to defend their thesis.  These graduates have pledged to help clear the backlog of cases in Jérémie and educate the community on their legal rights. During Elder's visit, over 45 hours were spent working on activities related to thesis advising. Elder provided extensive in person review and critique of each individual's thesis draft.  Elder also connected each candidate with a French-speaking adviser and held conference calls among the candidate, the adviser, and U.S. and Europe based law faculty and student researchers.  Elder worked with each candidate to create a detailed individual work plans to complete their thesis.  Elder also met with five prospective teaching fellows.  Most of these candidates have carried out empirical research in relation to their topics, which would be useful as candidates transition from law students to practitioners.  Moreover, Elder discussed the law school curriculum with the legal aid clinic staff. 


For the past several years, Makouti Agro Enterprises has been striving to increase the capacity of beekeepers throughout Haiti and has met great success with increasing honey production for many beekeepers.  While beekeepers have increased the amount of honey they are producing each season, some by-products such as wax are being discarded or underutilized.  To help beekeepers and their families understand how to start using these by-products, Makouti Agro Enterprises in conjunction with Partners of the Americas requested assistance of FAVACA to train beekeepers and their families on utilizing wax taken from hives.

Jean Vasicek, beekeeper and owner of Winter Park Honey, agreed to train beekeepers and their families on making candles and soaps by incorporating products from the bee hive and raw materials readily available in Haiti.  Vasicek traveled to Haiti from April 12-25, 2012 and taught the basic techniques of creating sand candles, rolled candles, and pillar candles.  Once the participants were shown the basics, many of them were able to come up with their own designs.  Vasicek recommended using wicks purchased from stores but when those are not available, she showed participants how to create wicks out of used clothing.  The participants were also interested in producing soap.  The FAVACA volunteer taught the participants a simple soap recipe with liquid glycerin. 

In addition to training on product creation out of beeswax, Vasicek was able to inspect ten apiaries consisting of langstroth hives and traditional log hives and found that most of the hives did not have an adequate food supply.  The beekeepers were harvesting honey too often and not leaving enough honey to sustain the bees.  Vasicek recommended that beekeepers wait to harvest honey until the subsequent nectar flow allowing the bees enough honey to eat during slow nectar periods.  Vasicek also noticed that Haitian honey typically has a high water content with some samples measuring greater than 20 percent. To reduce the moisture content, Vasicek suggested moving the hives into the sun. 


In order to keep pace with the needs of increasing international tourists, Haiti has been improving infrastructure and services with new hotels breaking ground and the hospitality school recently reopening.  The Haitian Ministry of Tourism requested assistance from FAVACA to develop best practices in community-based tourism.  David Brown, a well-known figure in community-based tourism in South Florida with a special focus on the Haitian community, traveled to Haiti April 1-5, 2012 to provide recommendations for the development and marketing of community-based tourism, conduct asset inventory and cultural capital, and expand economic development through tourism in rural communities.  Community-based tourism can be a very important tool in Haiti by providing socio-economic empowerment, building skills, conserving land, beautifying surroundings, sustaining communities, developing pride, preserving local traditions, raising standards and creating a bond between the local people and the visitor.  Brown conducted a series of training sessions with six members of the Ministry of Tourism emphasizing the importance of customer service and hospitality as a country-wide campaign.  He also suggested a plan to train tour guides from each region of the country in community-based tourism.  Brown was able to travel to Vallue, a small mountainous community just outside of Petiti Goave.  While remote and difficult to access due to poor road infrastructure, the scenic landscape and cultural activities offered in Vallue make the town an ideal place to develop community-based tourism.  Brown worked with Abner Septembre, a community leader in Vallue, and the Ministry of Tourism to help service providers create tourism packages including the hotel stay, meals and a cultural event in one price.  They viewed local hotels and restaurants, including the Villa Ban-Yen, to learn where improvements need to be made to start hosting international travelers.  The promotion of tourism in Vallue would improve not only help local hotels, but the entire surrounding community.  Brown was also able to meet with one of the leading tour operators in the country and provide advice on an array of different tourism topics including vehicle fleets, specialty tour themes, and marketing and producing annual events in Haiti.


Following up on a development mission taken a month prior, Eric Favier traveled to Haiti March 26 - April 4, 2012. While in Haiti, Favier worked closely with the kitchen staff at the Oloffson Hotel.  Favier made recommendations to the staff on offering new dishes, ensure a clean and sanitary working environment and provide excellent customer service.

Favier also worked with the hotel manager and restaurant manager at the Villa Creole Hotel in Petion Ville to discuss menu design and restaurant management.  The Villa Creole's kitchen was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake and is currently being repaired thus limiting the menu options for customers.  Favier recommended new items that could be added to the menu after conducting interviews with the kitchen staff and viewing the kitchen's usable appliances. The Villa Creole hopes to have a FAVACA volunteer provide training on menu planning in the coming months. 

Richard Buteau, owner of the Karibe Hotel and Secretary for the Haitian Hotel Association, met with Favier to discuss several requests for assistance that the Karibe Hotel submitted to FAVACA.  Buteau was able to provide further explanation of the hotel's need for training in food and beverage management, property maintenance, and housekeeping.  Favier and Buteau were able to discuss how the Karibe Hotel can remain competitive with several new multi-national hotels opening in Haiti in the coming year.  One area of concern was staff retention and Favier was able to provide sound advice staff incentives and customer service improvements.  Lastly, the two were able to discuss the recently constructed hospitality school and the potential benefits acquired from FAVACA volunteers.


Rara bands are a form of social commentary and political protest and have been widely practiced in Haiti since the late 18th century.  This tradition continues today and offers vulnerable, marginalized youth alternate activities to participating in gangs.  In an effort to develop the musical passion of these youth and provide them a positive and secure environment to perform music, Richard Morse, the Executive Director of Royal Palm, brought together members of Rara bands to establish a marching band that could perform in various civic and community events in Haiti, including sporting events such as the World Cup qualifiers and events at the Palace.  Morse believes the program could eventually lead to increased communication and dialogue between the gangs and the government.

Royal Palm requested FAVACA's assistance to train Rara band members on various music skills and marching techniques.  Dr. Thomas Keck, Associate Director of Bands for the University of Miami, traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 29-31, 2012 to gain a better understanding of the bands' musical and choreographic ability and teach new choreography routines and exercises to incorporate in their current choreography.  Dr. Keck hopes to return to Haiti to continue the training so the band can start performing at large functions.


For several years now, Makouti Agro-Enterprises have strengthened their beekeeping enterprises through training on hive maintenance and disease prevention methods. Now that the quantity of honey produced has increased, beekeepers hope to improve the quality of the honey. The quality of the honey greatly depends upon its bottling and Makouti Agro-Enterprises is have limited knowledge of the bottling, honey processing and storage. Impurities have been found within the honey and the moisture content in the honey is extremely high after harvesting. Makouti Agro-Enterprises requested an expert to train beekeepers on improving the quality of honey, reducing the moisture content found in the honey, help in filtration methods during processing and other important factors to improve the bottling and processing of honey in Haiti.

FAVACA, in collaboration with Partners of the Americas, recruited Jonathan Fisher, a fourth generation beekeeper and owner of Fisher Honey Bees in Land-o-Lakes, Florida, to work with members of Makouti Agro-Enterprises. Fisher traveled to Haiti February 6-20, 2012 and found that many beekeepers crush combs to extract honey and the honeycomb was often found in the bottle adding to the moisture content of the honey and affecting the taste and quality of the honey. Fisher worked with beekeepers on filtering the honey through the use of locally sourced materials to reduce the presence of comb resulting in the honey looking clearer and cleaner. Likewise, Fisher was able to show beekeepers to bottle their honey to reduce moisture to improve the quality and taste of the honey with the hope of improving sales and customer satisfaction.


During a meeting with local community leaders in Bas Groman, Haiti, members expressed their desire to improve the health of their livestock.  In Bas Groman and in much of rural Haiti, livestock can compose of nearly 50% of farmers' incomes, yet the health of these animals is often poor and farmers lose a significant proportion of their investments when livestock die.  To improve the health of animals in the community, FAVACA recruited Dr. Ray Mobley, an Extension Veterinarian in the Cooperative Extension Program at the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and an expert in goat and sheep health, to travel to Haiti February 9-13, 2012 and provide an assessment of the current state of livestock in Haiti by evaluating local food sources and making recommendations to increase livestock nutrition.

After meeting with several local animal producers and examining cattle and goats,Mobley concluded the animals were undernourished and appeared to be parasitized.  Moreover, the animals were small for meat animals as compared to typical meat animals in the United States.  Mobley also evaluated animal husbandry practices relevant to the animals' health and security.  A major problem was lack of nutrients due to insufficient vegetation in pastures.  Mobley also found a common practice was inbreeding, which erodes the gene pool leading to underperforming animals.  Based on conversations with local producers, few animals are taken to market and most are consumed for family use.

Mobley recommended that farmers introduce pastures that are heat tolerant and can thrive in dry conditions.  He also suggested that the community should practice rotational grazing to decrease parasite loads and extend pasture viability. An improvement in the genetic pool is needed by introducing animals with superior genes and the livestock owners need to practice controlled breeding.  Lastly, Mobley suggested introducing poultry flocks that can be used to increase the fertility of local plots.


The agricultural community of Bas Groman is nestled in the plains of the Cul-de-Sac region of Haiti. The plain has two main tributaries the Rivierre Blanche (the white river) and the Rivierre Gris (grey river) along with a natural spring Souce Zabeth (Spring Zabeth) which allows several thousands of hectares of agricultural land to be irrigated. Due to years of neglect and increased deforestation, sediment has built up in the canals not allowing water to flow to Bas Groman and other areas of the Cul-de-Sac. In December, farmers planted their annual crop of beans (black, string, green) with the hopes that the canals leading from Source Zabeth would be dredged in January. Unfortunately due to drought-like conditions, crops in January were withering under the hot tropical sun.

From January 3-9, Dr. Nathaniel Bailey an Environmental Manager for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection traveled to Bas Groman to provide an assessment of the canals and offer suggestions to the community and Royal Palm on dredging the system and capturing water in basins so farmers could water crops by hand during the dry season. During his visit, Bailey met with members of Royal Palm, the Ministry of Agriculture along with staff from the USAID/WINNER project. The group visited Source Zabeth to assess the distance that would need to be dredged to reach Bas Groman. After discussions with residents, WINNER engineers, and Royal Palm staff, all agreed that approximately four kilometers would be dredged by hand since several portions of the canals are too narrow for machinery to operate. Bailey suggested the community construct several local reservoirs throughout the irrigation system to be filled during the wet season and released during the dry season. Additionally, Bailey recommended creating sedimentation ponds to reduce the level of sediment reaching the canals as well as reduce other water quality problems. Finally he advised the communities on supplementing canal water with well and rain harvest water for irrigation purposes.


The International Organization for Haitian Development (IOHD) is a nonprofit organization that helps Haitian students to obtain admissions and scholarships to universities both domestically and abroad. IOHD also provides vocational training to students by providing much needed skills and training to help graduates find jobs in a variety of economic sectors in Haiti.  Jobs in the construction and energy field have the potential to rise dramatically in the coming months and years and IOHD requested the assistance of FAVACA to meet the current and future needs of these two industries by providing training on entry level solar design and installation courses to cover the fundamental concepts and theories of photovoltaics. From September 21-26 2011, FAVACA volunteer Clayton Eigenmann from Altamont Springs, Florida and President of Alternative Energy Services Inc., and Gary Bauer, Director of the Solar PV Roofing Division at Ontility in Coral Springs, Florida provided Haitian students and several electricians' courses on the review, the design, installation and evaluation of residential and small commercial solar photovoltaic systems.  Likewise, the volunteer provided training on site evaluation tools and techniques, solar electric component operation and connection, system design and sizing, and standard requirements and practices.


In 2010, the Ecole La Dignité hosted two FAVACA volunteers who met with parents and students to provide information on HIV/AIDS prevention methods and provided a general understanding of the transmission of the disease.  Over the course of the year, Ecole La Dignité recognized that most students understood the training and had a much better understanding of the disease but with new students coming into the school each year, Ecole La Dignité sought the assistance of FAVACA to provide training to teachers on HIV/AIDS prevention to allow them to continue to teach prevention methods as well as important information on the transmission and characteristics of the disease. The school
decided to target teachers in multiple grades for this training to enable new and old students to have multiple trainings throughout the school year. Answering the call to volunteer was social worker Thérèse Lètang of the Miami-Dade Public Schools who traveled to Haiti September 2-5, 2011. While in Haiti, Lètang provided HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention training to 35 teachers who will then take the lessons learned and inform their students about HIV/AIDS and to work with students on issues of prevention.


Once known as a center for piracy in the Caribbean, Ile de la Tortue, an island off the northern coast of Haiti, was once inhabited by a settlement of French pirates and a settlement of British pirates who for the majority of the 16th century used the island to attack Spanish galleons and merchant ships. The once bustling port full of unsavory characters, Ile de la Tortue is now composed of fishermen and farmers and dependent on the mainland for much of their needs. A local cooperative of farmers along with support from a US based nonprofit organization called Coops4Haiti, Inc, are set to find ways to infuse economic growth on the island. The local cooperative, keen on improving the economic potential of the island noticed a reliance on importing eggs and meat from the mainland and sought to end their reliance on imports by constructing several chicken coops in their communities.  Residents have raised free-range chickens but never for large production until recently.  Coops4Haiti purchased 100 chickens and constructed coops to hold the chickens but after just a few months, egg production had virtually stopped. Additionally, the local community imports all of their chicken feed from Port-au-Prince and with escalating prices for importing feed to the island, the community is looking for sustainable ways to provide chickens with locally produced food.  Desperate to find a solution to the loss in production of locally produced eggs along with information on how best to care for chickens in large scale production, the community sought the assistance of FAVACA to help train members on how to best care for poultry in large scale production. To help provide training to cooperative members, Dr. Jacqueline Jacob, Senior Poultry Extension Associate with the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky agreed to travel to Haiti August 27-September 3, 2011 and train nearly 100 participants on a variety of aspects of poultry production and nutrition.  Upon arriving to Ile de la Tortue, Jacob noticed that many of the chickens were stressed due to the coops being placed in direct sunlight with little to no water available in the pen. Community members moved the coops into the shade and Jacob's taught the community how to build water holders out of local materials. After solving the problem of heat stress, Jacob worked with community members in identifying local ingredients that could be a substitute to the imported pellet food currently in use. While not a full substitute to the pellet food, the local sources of food suggested by Jacob would drastically reduce the reliance on high cost pellet food while also adding to the chickens nutritional needs. Jacob and the community constructed a prototype incubator with a capacity for 30 eggs to help expand the community's operation to include production of chicks for sale. The prototype incubator is heated through an oil lamp and the community will need to continue fine-tuning its operation to ensure a constant temperature is maintained.


The small agricultural community of Bas Groman located just outside of Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti use to be a sugarcane stronghold when the Haitian American Sugar Company (HASCO) had a refinery outside of Port-au-Prince and employed most of the farmers in Bas Groman. HASCO maintained irrigation canals and provided inputs such as fertilizer to farmers to ensure bountiful harvests.  When HASCO closed in 1987, their support for clearing irrigation canals and farm inputs ceased.  Since then, the canals have overflowed due to debris from continued deforestation and years of neglect and the fertility of the soil has suffered as fertilizer is too costly for most farmers.  Farmers are now growing millet - while a Haitian staple, unfortunately generates meager returns. Farmers are desperate to grow an additional crop to increase income and soil fertility.  The farmers contacted Royal Palm, a Haitian organization helping to develop agriculture in Bas Groman, which requested FAVACA to identify an expert in pigeon peas.  Pigeon peas are widely grown and eaten throughout Latin America and the crop is known as a nitrogen fixer or natural fertilizer.  Grown in tandem with millet, the community of Bas Groman could increase their profits while also improving the fertility of the soil.  With the support of the Singing for Change Foundation, FAVACA recruited Dr. John Sloan, Associate Professor of Environmental Soil Science at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas, Texas, and expert in pigeon peas. Sloan traveled to Haiti August 22-25, 2011 and was able to verify that pigeon peas would grow successfully in Bas Groman.  Sloan taught community members to grow pigeon peas interspersed with millet.


Small and medium enterprises have been identified as a key component in stimulating the economy in Haiti and providing much needed jobs. With an entrepreneurial spirit, formal training in small business development and access to capital, Haitians throughout the country have the ability to start their own businesses.  The Camille and Sulette Merilus Foudation for Haitian Development (CSMF), a nonprofit organization with the aim to increase economic development in Haiti, hopes to create investment opportunities and stimulate job growth throughout Haiti through formal business trainings.  To help achieve their goals, CSMF requested the assistance of FAVACA to provide training on entrepreneurship in formal and non formal businesses in Les Cayes. Answering the call to provide training was Sagine Morgan, originally from Haiti, of Boca Raton who is the founder of Sagine Morgan Enterprises which assists clients in evaluating their strategic business campaigns. Morgan traveled to Les Cayes, Haiti May 21-31, 2011 to provide training to over 150 business owners and entrepreneurs.  While in Les Cayes, Morgan taught about capturing new markets for small businesses, record keeping, business planning, capital and capital resources, taxes, marketing, sales techniques, inventory, and financing a business. As a result of the training, entrepreneurs gained new insight on how to establish their businesses and develop products that consumers are lacking in the area. In fact, one participant was able to expand his business with the guidance of Morgan by investing in a cooler and taking unsold fish from the daily catch in Les Cayes and transporting the product inland where the fish sell at a much higher price.


Beekeeping and honey production in Haiti has always been a small market enterprise but in the past several years, beekeeping is quickly becoming a major industry where selling honey and wax products are increasing revenues for families. Beekeepers in Haiti have no inspection criteria or way to categorize hives to help them with the identification and treatment of disease and pests. Makouti Agro-Enterprise's long term goal is to create an inspection system which will be available and utilized in all major honey production centers throughout Haiti. To help institute an inspection system, FAVACA in collaboration with Partners of the Americas, recruited first time volunteer Rob Horsburgh, Gainesville, and Doug Corbin, Pensacola, both of whom work for the Florida Department of Agriculture's Division of Plant Industry's Apiary Inspection Section to work with local beekeepers in beginning to categorize hives.   Horsburgh and Corbin traveled to Haiti May 7-22, 2011 to work with a variety of beekeepers across Haiti to begin inspecting hives for disease and pests and to show how beekeepers could begin categorizing hives.  While a national inspection unit in Haiti may still take some time to institute, both volunteers were able to provide beekeepers with a good foundation on how to inspect hives for disease and pests.  Horsburgh and Corbin both recommended that beekeepers needed to begin using extractors to harvest honey. The current method of crushing the combs to remove honey reduces production since honeybees have to rebuild the combs. An extractor keeps the combs intact allowing beekeepers to simply place the comb back into the hive for the bees to refill the holes in the combs. Corbin had been in Haiti two years prior and remarked at how the industry had grown since the time of his last visit. Much of the improvements made can be attributed to the FAVACA and Partners of the Americas' trainings provided over the years according to the beekeepers.

FAVACA volunteer, Rob Horsburgh, writes about his experience with Haitian Beekeping in the November 2011 issue of the American Bee Journal. Click here to read the article.


FAVACA in coordination with the Florida League of Cities organized a delegation of five Haitian government officials to travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to participate in the 25th Annual Governor's Hurricane Conference and the Haitian Mayor Exchange and Civics Training on Monday May 16th. The delegation was lead by Karl Jean-Louis, Advisor on Disaster Preparedness from the Office of President Martelly; Yvon Jerome, Mayor of the City of Carrefour, Haiti; Wilson Jeudi, Mayor of the City of Delmas, Haiti; Abel Nazaire, Deputy Coordinator of the Permanent Secretariat for the Management of Risks and Disasters) of the Department of Civil Protection; and Rethone Jose, Coordinator for the Department of Civil Protection in the Northwest Department. The Governor's Hurricane Conference took place from May 15-20, 2011.

Additionally, Mayor Jerome had the opportunity to attend a city commission meeting in Hallandale Beach, which took place on Wednesday May 18th. Mayor Jerome met with Dr. Alvin B. Jackson Jr., Director of the Community Redevelopment Agency for the City of Hallandale Beach. Dr. Jackson provided the mayor with advice on how best to require local labor and supplies during contract negotiations.


GrassRoots United works in disaster affected countries to provide health and medical programs, alternative building projects focusing on promoting environmentally friendly facilities, and volunteer opportunities to individuals looking to provide assistance.  GrassRoots United has increased their efforts to provide better sanitation and public health options after the 2010 earthquake and have been partnering with GiveLove to construct composting toilets.  Composting toilets take human excreta and food scraps and over time, turns the waste products into usable compost fertilizer which can be used in food production.  Madeline Lansky, an expert on composting toilets (and a Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatry & Psychoanalysis with Profound Sustainability Consulting), traveled to Haiti April 7-10, 2011 to provide training to local communities identified by GrassRoots United on the variety of composting toilets available and methods to increase their productivity.  Lansky's training and networking resources in composting toilets will allow GrassRoots United to further develop their composting toilets initiative providing Haitian communities with safe and environmentally friendly alternatives for sanitation and waste. 


The Fund for Social and Economic Assistance (FAES) has been working on behalf of the Haitian Ministry of Education and Vocational Training for over ten years in the development of educational infrastructure through the implementation of various programs including the Local Development Program, the Basic Education Program of the Government of Haiti, the Program of Emergency Reconstruction for Educational Establishments, and the Support Program for the Reconstruction of Educational Facilities.  Following the earthquake, the Government of Haiti requested the support of FAES to help rebuild educational infrastructure in several departments of Haiti.  Despite all FAES' efforts, several challenges to the education sector still persist particularly in the areas of curriculum development and organizational strengthening.  To help support FAES, FAVACA recruited Dr. Valerie Smith, Professor and Director of International Program and Education at Florida Gulf Coast University, to effectively analyze the problems of the education sector and propose viable solutions for the short, medium and long term goals of both FAES and the Ministry of Education. In the weeks leading up to her travel and while in Port-au-Prince, Haiti from March 29 - April 2, 2011, Smith worked closely with members of FAES and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to provide advice and recommendations for better interaction between the policies of the Ministry of Education and members of FAES. Likewise, Smith was able to provide tools to analyze the problems in the educational system and to provide a comprehensive next-steps document for curriculum development and capacity building.


In November 2009, FAVACA provided a nutritional specialist to work with the Village of Vision for Haiti Foundation (VVHF), a non-profit organization, which has served the growing need for education and care of preschool and school-age children of working families at Lamardelle, Haiti. The nutritional specialist made recommendations based on the local food supply on providing a comprehensive approach for improving the nutritional status of children and recommended growing more fruits and vegetables in the community.

Since the 2009 training, VVHF has created several small gardens where they have been raising vegetables to provide 520 children with nutritious meals each day. Currently, production is not able to meet the demand for feeding 520 children and VVHF has asked Roy Beckford, University of Florida Lee County Extension Agent, to provide a training from March 21-27, 2011 on how to plan for increasing production and how to use their local resources to achieve that goal. 

The major problem that VVHF faces pertains to water shortages especially during the dry season. A canal is available to help with some of the water issues and a small basin has been dug to hold water but the basin is drained in about 30 minutes once fed into a drip irrigation system. Mr. Beckford assessed the canal system and provided recommendations on how to use sustainable ways to contain and conserve the water they do have available by teaching techniques of composting and mulching which will benefit the crops by retaining the water and providing nutrients to the soil. 

Upon his arrival, Beckford evaluated the current soil conditions and provided recommendations on how to increase fertility and nutrient levels.  These recommendations led to trainings on how to use local materials for making compost while suggesting additional local inputs to help increase the fertility of the soil.

Additionally, Beckford trained farmers on how to use local plants that might help that act as a natural insecticide and consulted with the farmers on how to combat any diseases.  To increase the variety of crops grown in the community, Beckford trained farmers how to grow tubers such cassava and malanga (taro) in their particular soil conditions. Furthermore, he also provided training on how to grow tomatoes which in previous years has been extremely difficult to grow due to the aforementioned problems. 


Ecole La Dignité opened its doors to the children of Pétavy, a small village near the town of Cayes Jacmel on the southeast coast of Haiti, in 1999.  Initial funds and space only allowed for one classroom and nine children to attend.  Each year the school has garnered more support and now teaches a total of 267 students from grades K-6 and has plans to add grades 7-8 next year.  Most of the students are from extremely poor families in the region - some of them even working as "restaveks" or household servants living with families other than their own.   The school also caters to students who have never attended school before and thus are older than their classmates.  It is completely free to attend and offers lunch, school books and health care.  To help the students and the residents of Pétavy, each year members of the Haitian American Professional Coalition (HAPC) travel to Petavy and provide medical care. 

Recently Ecole La Dignité recognized the need to educate parents and students on HIV/AIDS prevention methods and requested support for experts to travel to Haiti and teach these methods.  FAVACA supported, Haitian-American nurse Patricia LaFontant of Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines and social worker Thérèse Lètang of the Miami-Dade Public Schools to join the HAPC medical mission September 3-6, 2010.  They provided HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention to nearly 150 parents and 30 children ages 8-14.  The volunteers also taught the children social skills and how to report sexual abuse and molestation to adults.


Lycée Charlemagne Peralte de St. Raphael is a public high school located in the rural agricultural town of St. Raphael dedicated to the academic excellence of their students and has been recognized as a high achieving school in the north of Haiti due to the success rate of students passing the high stakes baccalaureate exam.  Despite the academic achievement of Lycée Charlemagne Peralte, the school staff struggles with the best approaches to support students' social and psychological development. Young people in Haiti have been targeted and exposed to political and social abuses that have never been adequately addressed. Schools have had to change traditional protocols by hiring security guards and adjusting school schedules in times of crisis; nonetheless, the social and psychological issues that exist in every day interaction with the students throughout Haiti remain an area that requires sensitivity, understanding and training. To help increase the knowledge of social and psychological issues of adolescents, teachers from schools throughout the northern department of Haiti came to the campus of Lycée Charlemagne Peralte. To facilitate the requested training, FAVACA sourced Dr. Charlene Desir with the Fischler School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern University and Dr. Pamela Hall, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Barry University, to train teachers on understanding  adolescent student behaviors, trauma, coping skills and the impact on learning. Teachers from grades K-13 were in attendance and local students on summer vacation volunteered their time to allow teachers to practice their newly learned skills in helping students cope with trauma and a variety of behaviors. Additionally, teachers were taught how to incorporate these skills into their lesson plans. Training materials were provided to the teachers and they will return to their schools to instruct other teachers on these skills and help their students adapt to the trauma they've experienced. 


Livestock in Haiti is an additional source of income for families and often considered a Haitian's piggy bank since these animals are sold when families need to send their children to school or pay for a major expense.  A relatively recent addition to many households is the domesticated rabbit since rabbits breed quickly and offer a source of protein. Since raising rabbits is a new operation for families, some problems have arisen due to improper feeding practices. Partners of the Americas requested the assistance of a FAVACA volunteer to provide a training on rabbit and goat nutrition to help relieve some of the health problems of rabbits and ensure goats are eating and drinking properly. Dr. Brian Rude of the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University answered the call to volunteer and traveled to Haiti from June 6 through June 21, 2010. Rude's first task was to become familiar with animal (rabbit and goat, primarily) production systems and feedstuffs, understand advantages and shortcomings faced with the production of these animals; and identify potential feedstuffs to enhance nutrient management.   Once Rude was able to identify foodstuffs to enhance the nutrient management, he  held classroom and field sessions to educate and train students regarding the importance of and need for proper nutrition for production animals such that they can eventually be of assistance to animal producers.  Rude worked with groups in the southern department of Haiti such as the American University in Les Cayes and agricultural groups in Aquin, and also provided training to groups in Grand Boulage and northern department of Haiti in towns just outside of Cap Haitien.  Rude was able to recommend to rabbit raisers to use a stable diet, consistent moisture content in their diet and removal of parasites to reduce incidents of diarrhea and other problems.  Rude also recommended that especially goats and cattle have more access to water in their diets.

Veteran Beekeeper Improves Hive Construction in Haiti

Beekeeping in Haiti is a growing but still underutilized industry in Haiti. Beyond the immediate benefit of pollinating agricultural fields, beekeeping creates a cottage industry where beekeepers can sell honey and secondary bee products like candles and waxes adding much needed income.  In a collaborative effort to increase the hive technology used by beekeeping associations across Haiti, FAVACA and Partners of the Americas identified hive construction material manufacturing as two areas that could greatly strengthen the capacity of local beekeepers. 

Makouti Agro Enterprise, Southern Apiculture Society, Komin Akien Apiculture Association (AAKA), and the Pilate Beekeepers Cooperative were just a few of a variety of beekeeping organizations from the Northern and Southern Departments of Haiti that veteran FAVACA volunteer Sofie Geckler worked from May 23- June 6, 2010. Geckler taught the construction of Kenya Top Bar hives, which is less expensive to construct and easier to maintain than the Langstroth hives commonly found in the United States.  Working closely with local carpenters to construct approximately eight hives Geckler was able to provide templates to ensure each wood piece is cut correctly.  Beekeeping equipment in Haiti is only found in select areas of the country and is rather expensive, yet also very necessary to maintain healthy hives.  Protective gloves and veils are especially important and the latter is in short supply in Haiti, so beekeepers and tailors were taught how to make gloves and veils with locally found materials.  Thanks to Geckler's volunteer service, at least 40 beekeepers, carpenters, and tailors can construct Kenya Top Bar hives or protective veils.


Haiti was the subject of intense, international media interest in the days and weeks following the earthquake, and the Haitian Ministry of Culture and Communications fielded the vast majority of those inquiries, conducting as many as 40 interviews a day. 

Since that time, media focus on Haiti has slowed considerably.  International media coverage now consists of periodic update stories, which are generally negative regarding the competence of the Haitian government, the level of recovery that has been made and the upcoming threat of rainy season.  Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, Haitian Minister of Haitian Culture and Communications, requested the assistance of FAVACA to provide a volunteer to teach her staff how to craft a strategic communication plan to improve the Ministry's effectiveness in sharing information internally with the people of Haiti and externally with the international media.

FAVACA in collaboration with the US Embassy in Haiti was able to enlist Michelle Ubben, partner and chief operating officer of Ron Sachs Communications, one of the top independent public relations firms in Florida and one of the top 100 in the U.S., to volunteer her expertise in working with the Minister and her staff to craft a strategic communication plan.  Ubben traveled to Haiti April 25-29, 2010.  Despite remarkable challenges, including the need to operate the Ministry out of a series of tents on the perimeter of a tent community, the Ministry possesses a number of assets in their continued effort to inform Haitians and the international community on the progress being made toward recovery.

Working with a small but motivated staff, Ubben was able to develop a more empowered, proactive communication strategy, which will help to reshape perceptions of the Haitian government's effectiveness in the recovery effort.  Ubben suggested the Ministry share more success stories of progress made by both the government and nongovernmental organizations.  Upon her return, Ubben composed a detailed strategic communications strategy elaborated with Ministry staff.


FAVACA in collaboration with Florida State University's College of Motion Picture Arts traveled to Haiti to investigate international development programs and the type of assistance that creates long-term positive outcomes and impact on the country.  The Film School enjoys a high level of prestige and recognition that is unparalleled among its peers and has been recognized by members of the industry with honors and awards since its creation.  Film producer Sabrina Reisinger de Angulo from Florida State University's College of Motion Picture Arts and students Patrick Gines and Hali Gardella traveled to Haiti April 25-May 1 to capture images and stories from past FAVACA partners to understand the benefits of long-term commitment to short-term technical assistance that FAVACA has provided for nearly thirty years.  Past partners interviewed during their visit included: the Minister of Tourism, the head of the Bureau of Civil Protection, Village of Vision in Lamardelle, the Haitian Hotel Association who shared their inspirational stories of success and positive change that has occurred as a result of FAVACA's technical assistance. Upon their return to Tallahassee, the students created a short documentary and shared their film with other motion picture institutions throughout the nation.


The State University of Haiti [Université d'Etat d'Haïti] (UEH) traces its origins to the 1820s with the establishment of the law school and the medical school. Since that time, the university has added a variety of other departments and institutions in Port-au-Prince and across the country.  The January 12 earthquake damaged or destroyed much of the university's infrastructure forcibly closing the school and leaving students without an option for continuing their education.  Seeing the need to create a sense of normalcy for students across the country, Jean-Vernet Henry, Director of UEH, contacted FAVACA to help reopen sections of the campus by having structural engineers assess some of the damaged buildings and to create plans and blueprints for a whole new campus.  FAVACA, in collaboration with Florida International University's Department of Civil Engineering, Miami-Dade Public Schools and the Multicultural Educational Center provided first time volunteers Marie-Elsie Dowell, a Miami civil engineer and Vice-President of Parsons Brinckerhoff; Ronald Colas, a civil engineer from Pembroke Pines and the Principal and General Manager of Burns & McDonnell's Florida Office; and Terrence Lee, a structural engineer with Terrence Lee Consulting Structural Engineers in Santa Rosa, California, and a specialist with seismic strengthening and analyst, traveled to Port-au-Prince March 25-28, 2010.  The team of engineers assessed and evaluated the existing buildings for structural damages.  The engineers also evaluated a portion of land owned by UEH to house a new campus and temporary structures to allow for some departments to reopen.  A comprehensive plan to create state of the art and environmentally friendly campus completed by April 12, 2010 and was submitted to funding agencies. 


Following the January 12th earthquake in Haiti, Hosean International Ministries (HIM) opened their complex in Pignon to house, feed, and educate over 350 people seeking refuge from the disaster. While many of the initial needs for food and medical attention were being met, founder of HIM Caleb Lucien noticed that many of the refugees especially the youth were potentially suffering from post traumatic stress. In 2008, after four hurricanes devastated the town of Gonaives, Lucien requested FAVACA trauma counselors to work with Haitians who had lost so much. Seeing similar reactions in and around the camp, again Lucien contacted FAVACA which responded with two recovery teams of three Haitian-American trauma counselors. FAVACA volunteers Lory Servil, Deerfield Beach, Natacha Jean-Francois, Miami, and Hardy Nicoleau, Loxahatchee, traveled to Haiti February 21- March 1 and provided group therapy and individual counseling primarily to youth.

Building on work and needs identified by the first team of counselors, Nikcy Clervil of Jacksonville, Florida, Tania Delinois, Ft. Lauderdale, and Danielle Romer, Miami, traveled March 1- March 8 to reach additional youth and to provide children with additional counseling. Focus was given to coping mechanisms for trauma experienced during the earthquake and to help children cope with the loss of family and friends. The teams recommended that a full time counselor be assigned to the camp for ongoing sessions and to implement more activities such as sports, movies and crafts to occupy the children and reduce time focused on the negative experiences they witnessed. The project was funded in part by a generous donation from MoneyGram International's Global Giving initiative.


Long-time FAVACA partner and Haitian Minister of Tourism, Patrick Delatour, now head of the Haitian Commission Responsible for Shelter Building and Reconstruction Planning, requested assistance from FAVACA. Volunteer Jack Sullivan, an Orlando-based structural engineer, traveled to Port-au-Prince February 16-23, 2010, to work hand in hand with the Government of Haiti to assess damaged buildings. The analysis and cost assessment are in support of the United Nations' March 31st donors forum in New York where the Haitian Government will request the necessary funds to rebuild the country.

REGISTERED NURSE AND TRAUMA COUNSELOR PROVIDES IMMEDIATE RELIEF Following the devastating January 12th earthquake, veteran FAVACA volunteer Lory Servil, North Miami, provided her psychiatric nurse experience to benefit numerous domestic and international organizations providing care to the injured. Supporting the efforts of the United Nations, Relief International, Bread for the Poor, and the Children's Kingdom Orphanage, she spent two weeks providing urgent medical care for the critically wounded and assisting with infection control and the emotional comfort of patients. As a Haitian Creole speaker, Servil also helped assess damaged medical facilities with Relief International including the General Hospital, Hospital Saint Francois de Sales, and a dozen other hospitals and medical facilities. Servil traveled to Haiti January 17-February 1, 2010. This project was made possible due to donations from our generous supporters.


Since 1979, Village of Vision for Haiti Foundation (VVHF, a non-profit organization, has served the growing need for education and care of preschool and school-age children of working families at Lamardelle, a small Haitian city located near the Dominican Republic border. In collaboration with the Fondation Enfant Jesus (FEJ), they have served more than 450 disadvantaged children in this rural community through several orphanages, a community day care, a primary school, a youth development program, a water distribution project and a women’s micro-business program. To facilitate the development of children and to strengthen and support families, VVHF requested the assistance of FAVACA to help develop a nutritional education program. Sondra Cornett, a nutritional specialist with the Florida Department of Health, traveled to Haiti November 17-28, 2009 to assess the nutritional status of children living in the two orphanages and children attending the two elementary schools in the villages of Lamaradelle and Timache. Cornett was able to make recommendations in each facility based on the local food supply. The training provided included a comprehensive approach for improving the nutritional status of children directed toward infection prevention and reduction, environmental sanitation, immunization programs, early treatment of infections and the feeding of sick children, as well as maintaining good nutritional practices throughout the lives for both the children and the staffs of these facilities. Over fifty people were trained as a result of Cornett’s nutritional assessment and training program which will in turn help the over 450 children that VVHF provides services to in two communities.


In April 2007, FAVACA supported three beekeepers to travel to Plaisance de Sud, Haiti to train beekeepers in suitable beekeeping methods. Beekeepers were well served by implementing significant advances in hive maintenance technology currently used in Florida. Veteran volunteer Bo Sterk, St. Augustine, returned to Haiti November 14-22, 2009 to provide a variety of trainings to the Regroupements des Jeunes Progressistes de Mathurin (REJEPMA) located in Plaisance de Sud in the Nippes Department. Forty participants learned the integral aspects of bee colony and hive maintenance. Sterk provided training to create Kenya Top Bar Hives which allow beekeepers to increase production from the current 1 gallon to 5 per harvest. Local beekeepers were placing hives in hallowed out logs not conducive for large scale production of honey as beekeepers were forced to destroy the hives at each harvest. Top Bar hives not only allow for more honey production but also to combat Varo mite which has wreaked havoc on colonies both in Haiti and throughout the Western Hemisphere. For over a year, Sterk dedicated his time and effort raising donations totaling $1,600 USD to buy the necessary equipment and materials to build hives. FAVACA would like to thank the Northeast Florida Honey Bee Association and the St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary Club for their generous donations which helped pay for the needed wood and materials to enable this project to take place. Likewise, FAVACA would like to thank Bert Otto who generously donated beekeeping supplies to be distributed to Haitian beekeepers.


The Hotel Villa Creole was established in 1948 in Petion Ville, Haiti. The hotel employs 155 people to oversee 70 rooms. In the past, FAVACA has provided fire and rescue training to hotels in Port-au-Prince and Petion Ville but many of the employees who partook in the training have not used the training often or due to the high turnover rate in the hospitality sector, have not been trained in fire and rescue safety. Roger Dunwell, owner and general manager, requested a training in basic medical and water rescue including training on proper techniques for CPR and the Heimlich maneuver to enable the hotel staff to respond to emergencies in and around the hotel premises. Additionally, Dunwell requested training in basic fire safety to teach employees the correct method to suppress fires through the use of fire extinguishers. Experienced FAVACA volunteers Gayl Nye, Vero Beach, works for Florida Heart and CPR and Lt. Nathan Lasseur, of the West Palm Beach Fire Rescue traveled October 4-8, 2009 to train the hotel staff from several hotels in the Port-au-Prince and Petion Ville area. Haitian National Fire Chief, Commander Donald Gregory William volunteered his time and expertise to provide a lecture on fire extinguisher safety. Approximately 50 people from the Plaza Hotel, Citibank and the Hotel Villa Creole attended the training. "Our employees...were very satisfied, to the point where they can't stop talking about what they had learned and seem to be passing on their knowledge to others, including family and neighbors, as well as other employees," said Hotel Villa Creole owner Roger Dunwell. "I have never seen a reaction like this before, and can only thank Nate and Gayl for their outstanding work."


For the past several years, the Levi-Strauss Foundation and FAVACA have provided small grants and short-term technical assistance to build the capacity of local institutions who work to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in the free trade zone located on the border region of Ouanaminthe, Haiti and Dajabon, Dominican Republic. Two organizations in Ouanaminthe who work with at-risk youth to provide safe environments to the young men and women of the city requested assistance in computer diagnostics, networking and basic computer maintenance: the Group d'Initiative pour la Promotion de la Technolologie (GIPTO), a cyber cafe which runs educational programs for the youth in the community, and Volontariat pour le Developpement d'Haiti (VDH), an organization that provides HIV/AIDS education aimed at local youth.

FAVACA volunteers Kerry Dera of Dera Computers, Naples Florida, and Samuel Perales, an independent consultant, traveled to Ouanaminthe September 25- October 3, 2009 and taught the 39 participants how to dismantle and reassemble their desktop computers, which included lessons on basic diagnostic skills. Participants were also taught basic networking skills. Both organizations brought computers to the training, many of which were old and the majority was not functioning properly. Before leaving, the volunteers were able to work with the participants to fix many of the computers and provide a diagnosis for the remainder of the computers. Several nonfunctioning computers will need new parts most of which can be found locally.


The Institute of Interuniversity Research and Development [Institut Interuniversitaire de Recherche et Development] (INURED) was created to promote and institutionalize social research and post-graduate training in partnership with academic and non-academic institutions in Haiti and elsewhere. INURED has developed trans-disciplinary research and training activities in a wide range of fields. Its scientific programs as well as exchanges and agreements among researchers from various institutions is complemented by ongoing activities in Haitian universities and research centers. For the past several years, INURED has had incredibly successful programs in Cite Soleil and has developed the reputation of a Haitian organization that is serious about activist research, which has encompassed not just research but research skills that teach community members to learn to reflect on their own situation and to create recommendations for the donor community. Brooklyn, New York resident Jocelyn McCalla traveled to Port-au-Prince to help INURED formulate a clear strategy to assist Haitian institutions in different social categories at INURED's first ever board meeting. McCalla is the President/CEO of JMC STRATEGIES LLC., which provides management, fundraising and development expertise, and grassroots campaign consulting services to public and private sector entities, for profit and non-profits alike. INURED's board retreat allowed the group to increase their exposure and relations between organizations and groups in Haiti.


FAVACA in collaboration with the Haitian Resource and Development Foundation (HRDF), a nonprofit organization helping with the development of Haiti, and the International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC), shipped a variety of emergency room medical equipment to the Hospital de L'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti, commonly known as the General Hospital located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Following up on an April 2009 FAVACA volunteer project to assess and ensure the condition of the medical equipment, the FAVACA volunteers began training hospital staff on how to maintain and use the equipment in emergency situations, FAVACA and HRDF secured two Haitian-American medical personnel to travel to Haiti to provide training to hospital staff from the General Hospital and the Community Hospital (located in Petion Ville, Haiti) on the recently donated medical equipment. Dr. Jocelyn David from Seminole, Florida is a staff physician at the Veterans Medical Center in Bay Pines and Anssie Blot, a registered nurse from Davie, Florida traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti June 19-26, 2009. The FAVACA volunteers trained approximately 40 hospital staff in advanced life-support techniques such as using an EKG machine, advanced respiratory and ventilation techniques in emergency situations, and urgent care in the emergency room just to name a few. On the final day of training all participants were given an exam to ensure that everyone learned the new techniques.


Servicing a large majority of the healthcare needs in the Northern part of Haiti, the Justinian Hospital in Cap Haitien, Haiti is a vital resource for providing much needed medical services for a large sector of the population. Unfortunately, fires in the recent past have caused an entire wing of the hospital to be shut down which has forced the hospital to cut some services and has forced the hospital staff to merge hospital units together which has caused overcrowding and could lead to more serious problems such as an outbreak of a major disease. In order to help provide the hospital staff with the basic knowledge of fire safety, Konbit Sante, a nonprofit organization in Maine with the mission to save lives and improve health care in northern Haiti works in the Justinian hospital and requested assistance from FAVACA to provide training on fire safety such as prevention methods and hazardous materials recognition, creating an emergency evacuation plan which incorporated the local municipal fire department in the hospitals fire prevention plan, and basic first responder training for ambulance drivers. FAVACA Volunteers Nathan Lasseur from Palm Beach, Florida; Gayl Nye from Vero Beach, Florida; Robert Belizaire from Lake Worth, Florida; and Gina Lasseur form Palm Beach, Florida traveled to Cap Haitien, Haiti June 14-19, 2009. The four volunteers were able to have several Florida fire departments donate four boxes of fire alarms to place throughout the hospital. The training served as a first step in helping the hospital staff to identify many potential fire hazards as well as providing a working relationship between the hospital and local fire department.


Over 2 million people live in the Port-au-Prince, Petion Ville and surrounding areas of Haiti and until recently there were no emergency rooms or ICU units to support any of the population needing emergency medical treatment. Individuals that required emergency care were only able to find minimal treatment to alleviate their medical problems, forcing many Haitians to seek treatment outside of the country. The Hospital de L'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti commonly known as the General Hospital located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti has been unable to find the monetary resources necessary to institute an emergency room ward within the hospital. The Haitian Resource and Development Foundation (HRDF), a nonprofit organization helping with the development of Haiti, requested help from FAVACA in providing the necessary medical equipment to perform emergency procedures for hospital patients. In addition to providing medical equipment, a request was made to FAVACA to provide Haitian-American medical personnel to train the doctors and nurses of the General Hospital on how to use the new the emergency room equipment. FAVACA agreed to support this venture and established a relationship with the International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC) to facilitate the shipment of the medical equipment and provide the necessary logistical support to guarantee the emergency room equipment arrived safely at the General Hospital. Once the medical equipment arrived at the General Hospital, veteran volunteer Pierre Bertrand, a biomedical engineer, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida traveled to Port-au-Prince April 9-14, 2009 to assess the condition of the medical equipment and ensure all the equipment is working before providing training to hospital staff on how to provide maintenance on the equipment.


Pwof Ansanm, a nonprofit organization in Haiti, supports programs and individuals whose mission it is to improve Haitian education through teacher training, curriculum development and material development. Pwof Ansanm holds biannual trainings for secondary teachers and requested the assistance of FAVACA to provide experts who could provide lessons in democracy (civics) and children's rights, and provide organizational development expertise. Veteran FAVACA volunteer, Bapthol Joseph, a Haitian-American educator and President /CEO of Changing Directions 4 Youth & Families in Pompano Beach, Florida agreed to travel to Ouanaminthe, Haiti to provide the assistance from April 4-8, 2009. Accompanying Bapthol was Joy Miksic from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who is a volunteer fundraiser and teacher trainer for Pwof Ansanm and who has been partnering with the organization for more than ten years. Miksic traveled to Ouanaminthe April 4-11, 2009 to train secondary school teachers by providing lectures on how to create lesson plans in math and science as well as providing additional hands-on activities to further develop secondary school teachers in Ouanaminthe and the surrounding area. As a result of the training on organizational development, the group realized that they did not have a clear understanding as to the reason they were formed. After the first several days of training, the group formed new ideas for their roles in the organization, developed a mission statement, decided to reorganize the group and create a working board of directors. A board of eleven members was subsequently formed.

Trauma Counseling for Storm Victims in Haiti.
Hosean International Ministries in Pignon, Haiti has been actively involved in the relief effort from hurricanes Gustave, Fay, Hannah, and Ike by providing much needed relief supplies to those areas that have been most affected by the four hurricanes that have devastated the country in 2008. Although Hosean International Ministries has been able to provide supplies there was a noticeable need in some of the population who were exhibiting signs of post traumatic stress disorder (PSD) due to the tragic losses each person has faced due to the storms. Many of those exhibiting signs of PSD were children who were unable to attend school due to the trauma they have suffered. In order to help with the psychosocial stress, Hosean International Ministries' country director Caleb Lucien requested FAVACA's help in sourcing several counselors to travel to affected regions of the country to provide trauma counseling to storm victims. Four Haitian-American counselors traveled to Haiti December 26-31, 2008 to work with families and children in Gonaives to relieve the fears and stress caused from the storms. Israel Francois, from Margate, Florida, Tania Delinois, from Coconut Creek, Florida, Nikcy Clervil from Jacksonville, Florida and Lory Servil, from Deerfield Beach, Florida provided counseling for 300 Haitians in Gonaives, Haiti. The team of counselors was able to diagnose several individuals and families who need follow up trauma counseling within the coming months.
Haitian Teacher Training Focuses on Planning Skills
The International Coalition is a small nonprofit organization with members in both South Florida and in the Northwest Department of Haiti working to help provide education to children in Mare Rouge and just outside of Mole Saint Nicolas. Education is a priority for nearly every Haitian however the cost of schooling is often a deterrent as well as the poor quality of schools across the country. Many of the teachers in both public and private schools lack the necessary teaching tools to provide quality instruction and often the teachers themselves have little more education than the students they are trying to teach. The Government of Haiti and the International Community have all listed training teachers as one of their priorities for improving education in the country. The United Nations has set up several teacher training schools across the country however these schools are only able to work with a limited number of teachers each year. The International Coalition requested FAVACA's help to provide an expert in the field of pedagogical training for approximately 120 teachers to participate in a teacher training. Jacques Pierre of Miami, Florida and Kent, Ohio is the main instructor for The Latin American and Caribbean Center's Creole Summer Institute at Florida International University and who agreed to volunteer his experience in pedagogical training. Pierre traveled to Mare Rouge December 12-21, 2008.
HAITI: Exploring the Naturalness of Disastrous Outcomes
The twentieth annual Haitian Studies Association Conference took place November 6-8, 2008 at Club Indigo in Montrouis, Haiti. It featured a variety of roundtable discussions and presentations by leading Haitian and Haitian-American experts. FAVACA supported Cornell University graduate student Crystal Felima to make a presentation entitled "Haiti's Disproportionate Casualties After Environmental Hazards: Exploring the Naturalness of Disastrous Outcomes" which focused on the existing environmental conditions that exasperate natural disasters. The Haitian Studies Association works with Haitian diaspora and provides variety of resources including: the Journal of Haitian Studies, symposiums, public lectures, available through their website.
The Catholic Law School of Jeremie (Ecole Catholique de Droit de Jérémie - ESCDROJ) provides pro bono representation through the voluntary efforts of its students and faculty for most of the criminal defendants in the city. Even with the pro bono work of ESCDROJ, the court system in Jeremie is so overwhelmed with cases that most prisoners will not receive a trial for several months to a year. In order to help expand their reach and help deal with the exhausted court system, Director Fr. Jomanas Eustache requested legal experts from FAVACA to examine the current court structure and offer recommendations on what could be implemented at the law school to help the overburdened system. Troy Elder, Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at Florida International University's Law School and Margaret Maisel, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Program also at Florida International University's Law School traveled to Jeremie, Haiti July 28- July 31, 2008 to examine the current legal system and work to implement new courses. Elder and Maisel recommended that ESCDROJ work with the local community to help explain the legal system especially in the areas of legal rights and access to justice. A second recommendation made by the attorneys was to help with the unmet legal representation by establishing a law clinic that would incorporate recent graduates and many of the law students; however, current Haitian law states that students need to finish a post-graduate thesis before entering into such a forum. Lastly, ESCDROJ needs significant help working with gender crimes specifically with rape and domestic violence victims who often don't testify which often lead to the dismissal of the case. Next steps would be to help create a funding proposal and identify funding agents in order to expand the program as well as working with ESCDROJ in programmatic planning.

Benito Jasmin, Field Officer for the Farmer to Farmer program in Haiti, requested assistance from FAVACA in order to help local beekeepers in the Department of the Northeast to strengthen the health of their hives while also increasing the production of honey. First time volunteer Doug Corbin, Panama City, Florida and long time inspector for the State of Florida's Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, volunteered from April 12-28, 2008 in order to work with local farmers in helping to identify harmful diseases and pests such as the varroa mite and the wax moth. Diseases and pests can create havoc on the health of a hive and Corbin provided hands on training on how to identify these disease and pests and how to treat a hive that is infected and how to take preventative measures so that hives continue to remain healthy. In addition to helping to identify harmful diseases and pests, Corbin was able to participate in a beekeepers seminar where participants from throughout the country received training on creating new hives out of recycled materials, tools for evaluating the hive food supply, and they learned how to better manage their colonies using the nectar flow.

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Communique Stories on Haiti


The city of Gonaives is the fourth largest city in Haiti and is a bustling port city which is still feeling the effects from the destruction of hurricane Gene in 2004. Due to the hurricane, a large section of the population lost their businesses due to the collapse of infrastructure and the loss of resources such as supplies and materials to maintain the initial store operations. Pierre Robert Auguste, President of Solidarites Pour Le Developpement des Entreprises et de L’emplois (SOLIDEE), contacted FAVACA because his organization felt a great need to provide the people of Gonaives with the necessary training to reopen businesses or create new enterprises. In order to reopen or create new businesses, SOLIDEE wanted to invite entrepreneurs in the area participate in trainings that would provide information on how to create businesses and to learn how to access the necessary capital in order to grow. First time volunteer Dufirstson Neree, Miami, Florida traveled to Haiti February 14-18, 2008 to provide a two day seminar covering topics such as business development, business investment strategies in the U.S. especially in capital venture and capital risk, and how to convert a business from the informal sector to the formal sector of the economy.


On October 24-27, 2007 the Interuniversity Institute for Research (INUR) held a research seminar on armed gang violence and urban transformation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The seminar focused on the idea that youth gang violence is not an issube that is limited just to Haiti but that it also affects other countries thorughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Countries such as Jamaica and Guatemala have been formulating research based intervention strategies and public discussions that ultimately inform citizens on public policies and civil society’s involvement. Haiti and other countries could adapt similar stategies to help eliminate youth gang violence. Participants in this seminar were collected from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, and the United States. FAVACA supported two volunteers to participate and add their expertise to this conference. First time volunteer Laura Kallus from Miami, Florida is the Executive Director of the PanZou Project Inc. an organization which provides gang prevention and intervention servises to gang involved and/or high risk youths and their families especially for Haitian Americans. Also a first time volunteer, Dr. Mikaila Brown, anthropologist and consultant for AOW Consultants Inc. added her expertise on development related projects such as researching best practices and helped explain methods that are currently being used in the field. Brown has done extensive research on the Jamaican diaspora repatriation and the socio-economic status and the effects on the development of self-perception and nationalism. Carolyn Rose-Avila, President of FAVACA, also attended this event.


The Haitian Ministry of Tourism requests FAVACA’s assistance to help record and archive the history of the Citadel, Haiti’s most famous historical site and one of the wonders of the world, according to UNESCO. The Ministry of Tourism requested FAVACA’s assistance to provide a volunteer with the technical knowledge to create the first living document of the historic site of the Citadel and San Souci palace through a video documentary host on-site by the current Minister of Tourism, Patrick Delatour. Prior to becoming Minister of Tourism, Mr. Patrick Delatour was one of the principal architects in the resotration of the Citadel for over fifteen years. Likewise, Minister Delatour has a post doctorate degree from Columbia University where his dissertation covered the history of the Citadel. FAVACA utilized renowned Haitian-American filmmaker and director Jacques Roc who has committed to volunteering his time, as well as a portion of his crews time, in order to make this momentous production possible. Roc who created his own production company entitled Renaissance Film and is a well established producer and director from Brooklyn, New York. Assisting Roc in the production of the documentary were Renaissance Film's crew, Romel Celestin, Director of Photography; Steve Alhoun, Gaffer; Magdala Blasie, Script Supervisor and Wardrobe; who all provided their technical knowledge and experience to create the documentary. Other Renaissance expertise for the project included Production Manager Susan Lavlin, who has sound experience and holds a degree in film production from NYU and Evans Ocvil a sound technician who assisted with Post montage and music. The Renaissance Film crew started a preliminary scouting of the Cap Haitien area as well as the Citadel National Park from September 13-16, 2007 to gauge the necessary equipment to bring and the logistics of shooting a documenary on top of a mountain. Additionally, from September 27-20, 2007 Roc and his crew were able to complete a second round of scouting the Cap Haitien area in order to start filming with the Minister of Tourism from October 8-14, 2007. Roc was able to complete a 44-52 minute documentary which took several weeks to complete and an additional few weeks to edit and add music.

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