Mid-Year Update: What is Happening at the Colorado Haiti Project
Recent Updates from Petit Trou de Nippes:
1) Father Abiade and his team are busy working on the school budget and preparing for the 2015-2016 school year. Tate has been supporting Father Abiade and his team to develop the 2015-2016 budget and fine tune reporting formats. The goal in 2015-2016 is to help the school better track and manage finances, as well as give CHP and our donors a clear picture on how donated funds are being used to support the school. Classes will start in September, with several new and innovative programs this year– including a hands on participatory agriculture program for 7th through 9th graders.
2) In partnership with a local Haitian non-profit, we have initiated training of Community Water Committees for each of the 12 CHP sponsored wells. As part of our strategic and program shift towards long-term Haitian empowerment and sustainability, we will officially turn over ownership of all 12 wells to their respective trained Community Water Committees by the end of the year.
3) As part of our on-going strategy to bring livelihood and entrepreneurship opportunities and training to Petit Trou, in June and July we initiated finance training for the sewing Atelier through a local Haitian technical partner.
4) As the CHP on the ground representative in Haiti, Tate continues to do an excellent job reaching out to both local and international organizations to explore new opportunities for partnership and leveraging of resources. Recently Tate has been developing a good relationship with Catholic Relief Services, one of the largest development organizations working in Haiti, to leverage resources with their projects in the area. Current discussions include support for Community Health Council training slated for later this fall.
5) We are proud to announce that CHP has become an active member of the Nippes region DINEPA (Water Ministry) committee. This allows us to participate in monthly DINEPA meetings, and together with other local organizations have input into regional decisions around Water and Sanitation programs and strategies. This association has already borne fruit as DINEPA has tested water quality at our wells.
6) We continue to negotiate with the Haitian Ministry of Health regarding our support to train 15-20 community health agents, and provide one year salary to help the Ministry get this important cadre of community workers into their respective communities. As our resources are limited, we are working to develop the most appropriate and cost effective solutions that will ensure the sustainable uptake of the health agents by both the Ministry as well as their community.
7) We are excited to have Tate returning to Colorado for a visit in August where she will be taking a well deserved vacation and spending some time here at our offices in Colorado. Besides reporting to the board and technical committees we also expect that Tate will be available to speak with CHP supporters who may be interested in hearing about CHP’s work on the ground.
8) We are excited to welcome Agronomist Emerson who will be doing a short term consultancy and community needs assessment for CHP around agriculture and food security. Emerson will conduct this assessment throughout the community, but in particular with St. Paul student’s families with an eye towards helping us best plan and implement or agriculture program this fall.
9) We are very excited to let everyone know that the Atelier students all graduated in July. Teresa, Jackie, Abaide and the vocational committee have worked tirelessly to steward this program to this successful outcome. The graduates will begin to work as a full Atelier working group this full, creating artisan products for sale both here in the USA and in Haiti.
10) For those of you who have supported our scholarship program you will be pleased to know that in June and July six students graduated with support from our scholarship program. Three students graduated with degrees in education, one in accounting, and two in plumbing. With each graduate we are not only building educated community leaders, but also real life accessible mentors for our current students at St. Paul’s.
11) In June CHP staff and interns led two trips to Petit Trou with young people from Colorado. The youth trips were the first time CHP had set up an insight visit focused on youth in many years. The trips were very positive for all who participated, allowing Haitian and Colorado youth to build peer to peer relationships, experience hands on entrepreneurship practice, and engage in colorful and innovative English language training.
12) CHP’s partnership with Boulder Community Health (BCH) has blossomed this year. In February BCH representatives travelled to Haiti with CHP staff and volunteers to provide critical hands on training to Ministry of Health clinic staff both in Petit Trou de Nippes, as well as at the referral hospital in Miragoane. Based on needs assessments last year, BCH also was able to provide much needed equipment to help clinic staff more effectively provide health care services to the community. In addition, BCH staff conducted in-depth first aid training and provided first aid kits and back-packs to all 26 CHP supported community health aides. These tools and training helped our female health aides to go back to their communities feeling empowered and confident to step up their critical task of supporting a healthier community. It is a real pleasure to work with our BCH partners who are not only lending their medical expertise, but are always wanting to become more engaged with the broader community to support a holistic approach to community health. A second BCH team will be traveling to Haiti in early August to conduct further training with our Ministry of Health partners, and continue to support our overall community health efforts.
Recent Updates from Colorado:
1) Although the year is going by quickly we are trying to set up a donor insight visit to Haiti for the month of September, or possibly later in the fall. No dates have been confirmed, but we want to reach out to our supporters to see if they would be interested in taking an insight trip led by Don Snyder or Sharon Caulfield. We have set a goal to host two donor insights a year, one in spring and one in autumn.
3) We have had the help of five great interns at our office this summer. Jennifer, Leah, Daniel, Brianne, and Katie have all have contributed to our work and successes. Some of the interns will be going back to school in August, while others who live in the area will be able to stay on.
4) Earlier in the year we made significant efforts to build detailed short and medium term strategic and program plans. We are beginning to see some of the fruit of these efforts by being able to submit confident proposals to interested foundations, corporate donors, and supporters. To date we have submitted proposals equaling nearly $200,000 to support our vocational and education work, as well as efforts to place a solar grid at St. Paul’s school. We don’t expect to get everything funded, but have planted the seeds!
5) Early this summer we were able to re-engage with our Episcopal partners in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. Later this year we hope to move forward with establishing CHP “branches” in each area by the end of the year.
6) In June we received a generous donation of $50,000 from very generous long-term supporters in support of the education endowment. Thank you!
7) In May we successfully launched our CHP catalog. This is a new initiative that we hope provides our supporters with options and information to direct their support according to their interests. Just recently we had our Farm to Table Dinner in Lyons. It was a wonderful event at a great venue, and fun was had by all. The event was well attended by CHP supporters, both old and new!
8) We hope to move forward with long time CHP supporter Keith Dietzen towards our goal of placing a new conference and meeting facility at the St. Paul’s campus. We have had several conversations with Keith this year, and hope to garner resources to match his generous support to this capital endeavor.
Year to Date Accomplishments and Challenges :
a) Developed sound organizational and program growth strategies with accompanying documents that clearly outline these strategies to our supporters;
b) Taken steps to significantly grow and improve our operational and financial systems – budget, formats, standard operating procedures, grant writing – that will positively impact our management;
c) Expanded exponentially partnerships with local and international organizations in Haiti, and taken steps in the same direction here in Colorado;
d) Successfully placed our first on-the-ground representative in Haiti. Tate’s presence in Haiti has allowed us to better manage our programs, provide technical and managerial support, and strengthen current partnerships and garner new ones.
a) As we travel on this path of transition resource development to match growth has been the biggest challenge. To help lessen this challenge we have diligently kept expenses in check. So, although we are on par with last year, we are resolved to push hard in order to meet our increased financial goals.
b) Through this transition we continue to steward and define the organizational transition to match our partners and work in Haiti.