Sister Cities Essex Haiti collaborates with Organization pour Development Economique et Social (“ODES”), an all-volunteer organization in Deschapelles, on all projects in Haiti. The collaboration began in the summer of 2010 after the devastating January earthquake. Together, SCEH and ODES have opened and are operating a library in Deschapelles, and have several ongoing projects, including music, early education teacher training and tennis. We endeavor to learn about one another through shared ideas and collaborative efforts.
While the genesis of SCEH was in Essex, the organization has gone far beyond its borders and now draws volunteers and supporters throughout Connecticut and beyond.
SCEH and ODES members communicate frequently about the library and other projects. ODES has created a Conseil (Library Board) that oversees the operations of the library. SCEH and the ODES Conseil work together to create a yearly budget and consult with one another concerning the library operations. ODES meets every Friday afternoon. When SCEH representatives travel to Deschapelles, they always attend ODES meetings to exchange ideas and discuss the projects.
With ODES, we also collaborate with other Haitian organizations such as FOKAL (La Foundation Connaissance et Libertè/Fondasyon Konesans ak Libète), an independent foundation in Haiti supported by the Open Society Institute, and the Digicel Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to building stronger, more resilient communities throughout Haiti.
SCEH welcomes any and all volunteers who would like to join us in supporting our projects in Haiti.