The vision of the Haitian Community Foundation (HCF) is to foster thriving Haitian communities with justice and opportunities for all, and to nurture and support Haitian leadership focused on national self-determination and collaborative development.
Since 2010, Haitians have engaged in building the foundation for implementing a participatory planning process which until then was unprecedented in Haitian history. The Haiti Community Foundation Initiative (HCFI) was launched by a group of organizations which included ESPWA, the Global Fund for Community Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the Puerto Rico Community Foundation. Support and further investments by GFCF, the Inter-American Foundation, the Haiti Fund and the Boston Foundation and the Ansara Family Fund was critical to HCFI’s efforts. After the first forum in Kaliko, Haiti in 2011, ESPWA was designated as HCFI’s lead organization. It facilitated subsequent forums in: Karibe in 2012 which involved 34 local and international leaders from all sectors and community foundation leaders from South Africa, Kenya, Mexico and Brazil; in Anse d’Azur in Jeremy prior the launching of the Regional Planning Process in the pilot region; and finally in Karibe in December of 2015 where it held a Global Forum on Community Philanthropy in collaboration with the Global Alliance on Community Philanthropy. This forum engaged over 65 participants from Haiti, the US, Canada, Africa, the Middle East, Mexico and Europe and South America.
From 2012 to 2014, ESPWA worked a Committee of Regional Leaders on a participatory regional planning process which convened engaged 600 leaders from the Grand’Anse area–Haiti’s last green reserve and food basket.
Through this participatory planning process, they agreed on these priorities:
- Education, health, roads, safe water systems, agricultural conservation, and other basic services to guarantee the development of families and community;
- Economic development; and
- Environmental and land use planning.
The work of HCF was to begin in the Grand’Anse by focusing on the priorities that local leaders have chosen themselves. Hurricane Matthew has reset our priorities as we work to meet the Grand’Anse communities’ short-term relief needs and mid-term and long-term rebuilding needs.
Additionally, HCF is set to create the Haiti that we know is possible through:
- Strategic grant making to build the capacity and the assets of Haitian organizations
- Promotion of peer learning and resource sharing among these organizations
- Leadership development at the individual, organizational, and regional levels
- Changing the conversation and transforming the process and the results of local and international philanthropy in Haiti
- Establishing a network of regional funds dedicated to regional concerns, and a central fund that will house and support donor-advised and family foundations.
- Governance by a diverse and inclusive national board, representative of all stakeholders, anchored in systems of transparency and mutual accountability.