It has been nearly a decade since the deadly earthquake that destroyed much of Haiti’s capital, impacting nearly 3 million people and killing upwards of 200,000. UUSC’s response, which is in its ninth year and has included partnerships with more than a dozen grassroots organizations, serves as an important counterpoint to the humanitarian “crisis caravan” that left Port-au-Prince long ago.
In each of those years, we have been in partnership with Mouvman Peyizan Papay (Papaye Peasant Movement) (MPP), Haiti’s largest peasant organization. Together, we have developed a network of six sustainable villages in Haiti’s Central Plateau, and a national school to serve the villages. By committing to this work for the long term, in the face of endemic corruption, political instability, devastating drought, and other unforeseen challenges, our work together stands out a model for post-crisis recovery and development.
From 2018-19, using emergency assistance from UUSC, MPP was able to connect all six EcoVillages to the electrical grid and to fix both of the broken wells. Now, all villagers have access to clean water and electricity, improving wellbeing in the villages and leading to new ambitions among the villagers. In addition, the EcoVillage School was recently granted a certificate of nationalization from the Haitian Ministry of Education, and the school is now known as “The National School of the EcoVillages of Colladere.” This means that, if and when the state has the funds, all teachers will be compensated by the Ministry, making the school viable for the long-term.
These are critical steps toward sustainability for both the EcoVillages and the EcoVillage School—neither of which would have been possible without UUSC and our committed members.