Solisyon Kominote Yo (SolKomYo) celebrated a very special occasion on December 9th. At the end of each year, SolKomYo invites beneficiaries to discuss the work that was accomplished and plans for the upcoming year.
This year was unlike the others because for the first time SolKomYo met with each community group that they support, and 85 representatives were present at the meeting! The SolKomYo team provides trainings, tools, and resources to change obstacles into opportunities for the community. From the range of topics during the meeting, from goats, to savings banks, to solar energy, to empowerment trainings, it truly demonstrates the diverse solutions that SolKomYo has applied.
During the ceremony, different members of Solisyon Kominote Yo presented to the audience the benefits that SolKomYo has provided to them.
From youth to elders, from farmers to female merchants, each group expressed their gratitude for SolKomYo and the impact the work has had within their community. Each had exciting developments that we will discuss below:
The youth group received certificates to acknowledge their graduation from the youth summer program, where 15 youth participated in a series of trainings around entrepreneurship, communication, leadership, and environmental management. As a result of these trainings, the youth have formed a sustainable venture in which they transform used plastic bottles to bracelets. If you are interested in purchasing the $5 handmade bracelet that directly supports youth empowerment, please write us at email@example.com.
As part of a youth empowerment and waste management initiative, the youth have created a small business venture in which they handmake bracelets from recycled plastic bottles.
It was also a special moment for the group of female merchants that we work with. which began after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 through our gofundme campaign. These women live in a very neglected area of Ouanaminthe and lack access to critical services. Over a year later, the 10 women meet regularly to discuss their income-generating activities and have built solidarity amongst each other. They are officially named the AFTKW – Association of Female Merchants of Ouanaminthe (Assosyasyon Famn Ti Komesan Wanament) and received shirts to acknowledge their commitment. In the coming year, SolKomYo is planning several trainings with the women, including literacy in reading and writing, community savings banks, small business development, and peacebuilding in community leadership.
It was an exciting moment for CAF (community savings banks) and financial literacy trainers because SolKomYo officially has 20 savings banks opened with over USD $1000 saved cumulatively. This tool gives communities access to loans and savings that are otherwise nonexistent. In addition, the Financial Literacy Trainers from Codevi, the textile factory, are continuing to build their capacity and are planning to provide additional trainings in 2018.
The agriculture group also had lots to celebrate – and did not walk away from the event empty handed! They received their certificates from the trainings they participated in throughout the year over climate-smart agricultural practices and financial stability. In addition, several members received the first distribution of rabbits to begin their multiplication. In the coming year, we will be working with this agricultural group, FAKO –the Federation of Community Agriculturalists in Ouanaminthe (Federasyon Agrikilti Kominote Ouanaminthe)- to continue climate-resilient agricultural practices and innovative farming techniques to increase their production, competitiveness, and self-sufficiency.
And last but certainly not least, the group of Community Entrepreneurs (ACs) that we work with that we like to call our “ancient” group because we have been working with them since 2012! It marked an exciting time for them because after a hiatus in selling lamps through the MicroConsignment Model and continuous requests to restart this program, SolKomYo was officially able to restock its inventory with quality solar lamps and provide the ACs with products again! This is a very exciting turning point for 2018.
This is all a result of the immense work of the local team, Solisyon Kominote Yo, who have worked tirelessly to make all of this possible. It also marks an important step for the team: through capacity building and professional development that began in 2012, they have arrived at the point in which they will be predominantly led by the local team starting in 2018!
And of course, thank you for the support of our partners who without their generosity, none of this would be possible! At the end of this year, the SolKomYo team is feeling very proud of all that they have been able to accomplish in the northeast department of Haiti and are very eager and motivated for 2018!