In April 2023, Hope for Haitians (HFH) hosted its second Leadership Conference, bringing together over 50 volunteer leaders from 8 communities for an empowering and enlightening event. Participants had previously been though a multi-part leadership training program in their local village. The local leadership participating in this event serve the needs of communities that are home to 80% of the families assisted by Hope for Haitians since 2001.
The conference was led by Hope for Haitians in-country team – Dr. Jean – Team Lead, Antonio – Technical Lead, and Jitma – Trainer. Along with their role as presenters, the team shared their experiences, addressed queries, and encouraged participants to continue their valuable work in community development. The conference featured additional expert presenters who addressed crucial topics related to community development, finance, leadership, project management, individual rights, and other topics.
Highlights of a few key presentations:
Agronomy & Food Security
Agronomist Stanley (right), from the village of Dumas, led a valuable presentation on agriculture and animal husbandry, focusing on goat and poultry projects. As a dedicated volunteer involved in various agricultural programs and surveys, Stanley emphasized the critical role of these projects in improving food security.
Jitma, an experienced Hope for Haitians Trainer, presented on the theme of community leadership. Her presentation built on the leadership training all participants have received. She outlined the expected characteristics and conduct of community leaders, and led an engaging discussion on effective leadership principles.
Public Law and Personal Rights
Guerlande, an expert attorney, delivered an informative talk on public law, citizenship, and personal rights. Her session helped leaders understand their legal rights and responsibilities and offered practical advice on navigating potential issues. Guerlande also provided ideas on how leaders can assist those in their communities understand and assert their rights.
Financial Records for Projects
Edwige, a professional accountant hailing from Cap-Haitian, provided in-depth insights on financial record management. She elaborated on effective strategies for handling daily, monthly, and quarterly reports, underscoring the importance of accuracy and transparency in project accounting.
Antonio, the Technical Lead for the Hope for Haitians team, addressed technical concerns related to community projects. His presentation focused on the maintenance and troubleshooting including for plumbing and electrical systems, emphasizing the role of community leaders in ensuring project sustainability.
Safety and First Aid
Guerdy, the primary Red Cross trainer for the region, provided essential instruction on basic first aid and emergency response. Natural disasters and poor access to healthcare sevices makes his presentation particularly relevant. Several leadership councils invited him to come to their villages to conduct additional training in CPR, first aid and emergency response.
Local Radio Coverage
A journalist from Radio Royal 105.3 (Fort Liberte) reported on the conference summarizing the importance and timeliness of the topics addressed during the day. In their report it was suggested that Leadership seminars like this should be conducted on a regular basis for public servants. They highlighted how the content is relevant and helpful to developing effective leaders for the future of Haiti.
Investing in the People of Haiti
Leadership Conferences and training events like this reflect Hope for Haitians commitment to working with the residents in the communities where we work. It is one element in creating a meaningful partnership to ensure that projects are timely, relevant and properly looked after. It is one way Hope for Haitians pursues sustainable, long-term stewardship of the improvements to quality of life funded by our generous donors.
Training and conference experiences are impactful platforms for education, empowerment, and exchange of ideas, fostering a stronger sense of community and responsibility among the leaders. Participants were enthusiastic about the day asking that opportunities like this be offered more frequently.
I greet and thank the entire HFH team for the privilege it gave me to participate in helping my fellow Haitians living in difficult situations. The conference allows us to strengthen the leadership of community leaders for sustainable action in the villages.
Participating Leadership Teams
Garde Saline Leadership Team
Dumas Leadership Team
Grand Bassin Leadership Team
Acul-Samedi Leadership Team
Acul Samedi is the location for Hope for Haitians
18th village project, St. Joseph Village.
Construction will begin in 2023.