“The missionaries want us to LIVE; we want to GROW!” Paul Prevost, former mayor of Mizak Haiti, observed his neighbors standing in a faith-based, free lunch line. He was speaking with Valerie Mossman-Celestin who had recently moved to Haiti to research “what is help” from the local perspective.
Paul’s words stuck. In 2007, Valerie and Paul co-founded ‘Haitian Artisans for Peace International’ to economically empower women by teaching them how to use their embroidery skills to produce a marketable product.
Across the years, HAPI listened to the desires of the community and adapted to changing environmental factors. Locally accessible and affordable healthcare, especially maternal care, emerged as the single greatest health need. HAPI opened Felisane Health Center.
‘HAPITech’, the area’s first vocational center, soon followed. HAPITech provides skilled training to youth to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
HAPI’s economic initiatives shifted to focus on local materials, local market. HAPI provides jobs at fair wages and safe working conditions. We practice gender equity as greater than 50% of the staff are women.
HAPI adapted our name to ‘Haitian ASSETS…’ in recognition of the evolvement and GROWTH of the organization. But, as we like to say, “We are still HAPI!”
to empower persons, especially women, to have the opportunity to grow and raise themselves, their families and their community out of poverty.
for Mizak (Musac de LaVallee, Jacmel Haiti) to be a PROSPEROUS and EDUCATED community!
HAPI empowers women and equips local leadership to ERADICATE POVERTY and SAVE LIVES in Mizak Haiti (Musac de LaVallee, Jacmel, Haiti).
3. Ensure equal access to women and men to local and affordable technical and vocational education and to substantially increase the number of youth and adults, ages 18-35, who have relevant skills for employment, decent jobs, leadership and entrepreneurship, or university.
What’s our desired outcomes?
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Reduce maternal and infant / child mortality
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Promote sustainable economic growth
- Achieve gender equality
PO Box 68227
Grand Rapids, MI 49516-8227