Projects in Haiti
In addition to supporting Hospital Albert Schweitzer, Sister Cities Essex Haiti collaborates with Organization Pour Development Economique et Social (Organization for Economic and Social Development-“ODES”), a volunteer group in Deschapelles, Haiti, to identify and consummate worthy projects in the Deschapelles region that will improve the quality of life for residents there and enhance the relationship between the two communities. Sister Cities Essex Haiti and ODES work to build cooperation between the people of these communities, enabling them to learn, work and solve problems together through an exchange of educational, cultural, professional, municipal, business, and technical initiatives and projects.
In February 2011, the Board of Directors of Sister Cities Essex Haiti approved criteria to be used to consider any proposal for a community project in Deschapelles or any initiative for an educational or fundraising initiative in Connecticut. In determining what projects and initiatives to support, Sister Cities Essex Haiti considers several factors including:
- (1) whether the project supports SCEH’s mission,
- (2) whether the project has been identified or is supported by ODES or HAS as needed and desired,
- (3) whether the project (a) is beneficial to the people of Deschapelles and Essex, (b) strengthens the cultural understanding between Essex and HAS, Deschapelles and its environs, (c) is culturally appropriate for HAS, Deschapelles and its environs, (d) is suitable for Essex and Deschapelles residents to develop a sustainable relationship, and (e) is conducive to educating Essex residents about Haiti and its unique qualities, needs and opportunities for collaboration, and
- (4) the anticipated cost of the project, the ongoing operational costs of the project, the plans for fund-raising, the time frame for completeness, and whether the project is achievable.
As of the September 2011, four projects are underway: (1) the creation of a community library in Deschapelles, (2) a musical collaboration among musicians and music lovers in Essex and Deschapelles, (3) a teacher training project, and (4) a sports project.