Working in solidarity to create healthy, empowered, and self-directed communities in Haiti, until the work is done!
We will see a day when rural Haitian communities are able to identify their most pressing problems, work together to create solutions, and have the agency to bring those solutions to fruition. We look forward to a time when all children can attend school, adults can find dignified and meaningful work, when the people care for the land and responsibly use its natural abundance, when no child in these communities suffers from malnutrition, when people no longer die of diarrhea, common colds, or pneumonia, and when chronic diseases are identified and treated using local expertise.
Partnership is the foundation of our service to communities in rural Haiti. The people who make up these communities - living, working, raising families - have an intimate understanding of the problems they face. More than any outsider, they can determine which problems are the most pressing. They can envision the most appropriate solutions. As partners, we explore these needs and work together to enact solutions by conveying their voice to the larger world, confronting financial barriers, providing technical assistance, and aiding project management. No individual or organization possesses the full range of expertise to act alone in confronting the complex, sensitive issues of rural Haiti. We embrace the multidisciplinary approach necessitated by community development, healthcare provision, and public health. We partner with sister organizations in order to provide these communities with the robust level of service and expertise they deserve.
Solidarity is not charity. It is the idea that we share common cause with the people of rural Haiti. We consider ourselves to be not only partners, but also equals. Solidarity means that we share the burden of each challenge faced by our partner communities. We do this because all people hope for health, prosperity, and a better life for their children. We are not distracted by pity, nor blinded by self-righteousness. By holding true to the value of solidarity, our partnerships with communities in rural Haiti are built with respect and trust. This allows us to turn to one another for perspective and guidance in identifying and addressing our shared challenges.
Accompaniment is what happens between envisioning a solution and achieving a solution. Our partners in rural Haiti possess both an intimate understanding and deep commitment to their communities. They have the greatest potential to enact change and develop solutions within their villages. At the same time, so many of these initiatives require logistical, financial, and technical skills. Alongside our community partners, we cultivate the knowledge and potential of community members by coupling their insights with skills and knowledge. Step by step, we do this in the form of training and mentorship. Accompaniment allows individuals to transform themselves as they transform their community.
Sustainability emerges when a community has a meaningful stake in conceiving, developing, and implementing an initiative that will benefit their friends, family, and neighbors. Haiti is littered with the husks of far too many failed projects perpetrated by foreign organizations with few ties to the people they aim to help. Sustainability arises from partnership, solidarity, and accompaniment, but without sustainability there is a limit to what partnership, solidarity, and accompaniment can achieve.
Integrity is the guiding principle that upholds the decision to do the right thing. It is our acknowledgement that the Community Health Initiative, Haiti is a community of volunteers, supporters, donors, and Haitian partners who assess each situation, affirm when something needs to work, and commit to working on it. Integrity allows us to have unity in our service to communities in rural Haiti while we remain true to our word in all circumstances and respect the autonomy of individuals and communities at every juncture.