Our Story

 

Hatian American Caucus from Filmmaker For A Cause NFP on Vimeo.

 

The Mission

The Haitian American Caucus- Haiti advances opportunity and improves the quality of life for the people of Haiti. We strengthen the capacity of communities through education and comprehensive community development. HAC-Haiti promotes sustainable development in Haiti that eliminates extreme poverty through providing opportunities for education, health, & economic self-sufficiency. We believe that by educationally, economically, and socially, empowering women, children, and families we can create strength that will build a better Haiti.

 

The Story

The Haitian American Caucus- Haiti was founded in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti. After the devastating earthquake that affected the Port au Prince area on January 12th 2010 Country Director and founder, Samuel Darguin moved back to his country of birth to help with the re-building efforts. Not having lived in Haiti for over 20 years, he left his life in New York City to help a community and a country build back stronger. 

HAC-Haiti began helping the Earthquake relief efforts by offering up our community center and primary school's building as a safe space for relief organizations and aid workers to live and run operations in the weeks following January 12th 2010. As much of Port au Prince was still inaccessible and the airport was closed volunteers were forced to drive in from neighboring Dominican Republic. HAC’s headquarters, located only about 30 minutes from the Dominican border and 30 minutes from downtown Port au Prince housed operations ranging from emergency medical aid, to food and clean water distribution. After the emergent situation was over and many of the relief organizations moved to a more permanent home in the capital HAC decided it was time to re-focus its efforts on developing the community through providing sustainable solutions to extreme poverty in the area.

It started with a conversation that grew into a discussion that involved farmers, single parents, adolescent and unemployed men, matriarchs, and school children. After weeks of talking with the community about issues that affected their families, and their goals and passions it was realized that what was missing was access to quality and affordable primary education, professional development opportunities for students, teachers, uneducated youth, and illiterate adults, economic empowerment opportunities and improved public health.  After those conversations HAC has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for the community of Croix des Bouquets and rural communities around the country.

Our programs all maintain the same community based, and participatory approach towards development that we started with. We believe that all program initiations and changes should come from the community members themselves. They are an integral part of planning and executing all of our activities. Since our initial conversation in 2010 we have grown to build and operate a kindergarten and primary school in Croix des Bouquets, an English Language program, Computer program, run professional development training courses and workshops, engaged in economic empowerment activities and ran clinics and public health trainings. We now serve over 1,300 community members in Croix des Bouquets, Petit Goave, and Les Cayes. We also continue to bridge the gap between the international community and Haiti by continuing to host volunteers at our community center in Croix des Bouquets and by offering the international community opportunities to stand in solidarity with our community, contributing to a stronger and better Haiti. 

We have seen first hand the differences between relief and development. Relief, although needed in times of emergency, only works against sustainable change to communities by creating dependencies on aid and relief. Development, focused on education and access to resources, and spun from the community itself helps empowers individuals to create the change that will build a stronger Haiti.