Fond-des-Blancs: A Model Community
Preamble: The trajectory for every young Haitian is: leave their rural community, move to Port au Prince and finally go overseas. The refrain usually is: ‘there is nothing here for me’. Yet, we all know that Port au Prince is a dead-end. The problems of Port au Prince are actually the unsolved problems of rural Haiti. Port au Prince can never be what it needs to be if the needs of the rural communities are not addressed. There was a lot of talk about decentralization after the 2010 earthquake but a lot of the chatter has died down. We need to reverse this trend. We need to create both the environment and the opportunities not only to keep our young people home, but to also to attract the best that the world has to offer to our community.
Geography: The four ‘sections rurales’ that make up Fond-des-Blancs, from Moussgnac to Mouillage Fouquette and from St Jules to Villa.
There are three major questions before us:
- How we, the people of Fond-des-Blancs, can transform our community into the ‘Pearl of Haiti’?
- What structure should we put in place to achieve that goal?
- What should our relationship be with our external partners?
To the first question we may ask: What are the existing components that we need to improve and non-existing ones that we need to create in order to achieve that goal.
When I dream of an ideal community where I want to live I see the following:
In the public domain: provided either through city services or private investors
- Water - 24/7 in every home
- Electricity – 24/7 in every home
- Sanitation – no visible garbage anywhere
- Paved Roads –connecting FDB to all important points
- Safe public transportation
- Bus service
- Air Service
- Ambulance Service
- Fast Internet Service
- Police Presence that live to the ideal of "To serve & protect"
- Fire prevention and intervention
- A justice system that is honest and blind
- Political Representation
In Health Delivery:: why should I have to drive to PAP for care that should be available right where I live?
In Education: why should I be separated from my children just to insure they get the best possible education?
- Classical Education
- Primary Education
- Secondary Education
- University Level Education
- Specialized education
- Language School
- Drama School
- Professional Education : For young people not formed for university education
Economic Opportunities – What are the jobs that exist here to attract qualified residents?
- Farm Production
- Animal Production
- Transformation of agricultural products
- Basic goods
- Business Loans
- Repair Shop
Housing Development: Why shouldn’t my home be my castle with all the creature comfort that the rest of the world has come to expect? In order to deliver the basic services that are needed, we cannot live miles apart. There are subdivisions that can serve everyone’s needs.
Ecology: Haiti could become a desert if the ecology is not protected. We are already feeling some of the effects of over 50 years of neglect.
Recreation: we are all lovers of sports. Fond-des-Blancs should be competitive nationally and internationally in all sports and arts.
Hospitality Services:: If we make Fond-des-Blancs what it can be, people will come to see and will need a place to stay and spend their money.
- Agro/Eco tourism
To the second question we may ask: How do we organize ourselves to bring this dream into a reality. We need a township committee that is charged to facilitate the realization of this dream. Ce comité de quartier sera un facilitateur et non un implémenter de projets ; a l’exception de ce qu’il a besoin pour ses activités administratives.
A third area that may concern us is how we relate to partners outside of Fond-des-Blancs.
We already have a couple of great partners in Kellogg Foundation and Food for the Poor that have invested heavily into Fond-des-Blancs and have committed themselves to travel with us along this road. As with any partner, each may have their limiting priorities. If Kellogg’s priorities are Health, Education and Economic Development, we must make it our responsibility to actively search the world for additional partners that will fill the remaining voids. For each of these partners, the General Secretary will regularly publish, via print messages or on the web new partnerships and how the members of the general assembly that are in good standing can harness those resources to help realize the dream.
The right to use the insignia of the Township Committee on an organization’s letterhead and on funding requests from its partners would be one of the major benefits of membership into the Township Committee.
It would be the burden of the General Secretary to find additional benefits and privileges for the membership such as legal representation, custom services, training programs, technical support, etc.
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