3 years ago we did our first steps in Haiti and today is a moment in which we need to take a step back and think of what we accomplished, the lessons we learned, the friends we made and at the same time find our motivation to continue innovating and building programs for the people of Haiti.
We started as OSIIC – Ouanaminthe Social Impact and Innovation Consortium with the support of Ashoka and IFC and soon we became Solisyon Kominote Yo, a social enterprise owned and run by Haitians. We worked and learned hand in hand with the people of Haiti and many times we came together with solutions to everyday challenges with a good joke and a smile on our faces.
We spent nights at the light of gas lamps and candles and we felt proud each time we sow one of our solar lamps in use, we did eye exams and we helped elders and youth see better, we built programs and organized community meetings all over North East Haiti for agriculture and saving groups, we talked to women about their daily challenges, to youth about their dreams and to textile workers about building a better future. But we also danced to kompa, drank coffee, ate mango, had incursions in Haiti’s history on the back of donkeys, and took baths in Haiti’s blue waters while eating pwa ak diri.
All this helped us arrive where we are today. In three years of activity we created an economic impact of over US$1 million and impacted over 35,000 people. We are optimistic about the future because we have an empowered local team happy to do more for their people and provide small solutions to everyday problems.
All this was possible through the support of our local and international partners such as Levi Strauss Foundation, International Finance Corporation, Warby Parker, Ashoka, CODEVI and many others.