Whole-Community Initiative Strategy
Haiti Outreach began its involvement in community development in 1997. Since our main base is in Pignon, Haiti, many of our pilot projects have occurred in that area. Over the years in this town we have drilled wells, worked on and are currently creating a new town water system, built the public secondary school and a second building for this school, supported economic development through sponsoring a micro-lending bank that opened a branch in Pignon, and have employed 41 people from the area to carry out our mission.
In 2008 some Haiti Outreach board members and supporters visited the Pignon area. For some it was their first visit in a very long time. They were amazed at the difference in the town of Pignon! Discussions occurred about this change, and while Haiti Outreach had been looking at incremental changes that each individual project made, these people were seeing an entire town developing.
More children are surviving due to clean water from wells. The market place was growing due to the micro-lending from the local bank. Parents were then earning more money and able to send their children to schools. The town was beginning to prosper. Sustainable development was occurring.
Since this observation was made, Haiti Outreach has become committed to a “whole-community” initiative concept as an approach to carry out our vision that Haiti become a developed country. When requested, we will survey a community to see what assets they already have and don’t have – the number of wells, other types of water systems, private and public schools, micro-lending institution available, medical services, agricultural assets, etc. We will then work with the communities to prioritize and assist them in creating those assets they still need in order to move forward in their own development.