Circles of Change Spreads by Tens of Thousands
March 28, 2011
Haiti Partners’ mission is to help Haitians change Haiti through education for students, teachers, leaders, and disciples. Our educational efforts focus on helping Haitians change their country’s top-down, dictatorial teaching and leadership approach to one that empowers children and adults to discover their potential to create and to collaborate effectively.
Our educational and leadership practices are grounded in mutual respect and are designed to help people develop their capacity to think critically and outside of the box, and to collaborate to solve complex problems. This is in stark contrast to Haiti’s “rote memorization” teaching approach and to authoritative commands shouted from on high to subordinates. Haiti’s present state is not surprising given these practices that can so effectively stifle human development.
Knowing that changing cultural practices, especially those concerning education and leadership, would be a significant challenge, our team of Haitians and ex-pats developed early on a strategy to foster local and international organizations integrating our Circles of Change methods, which are largely shaped by Touchstones Discussion and Open Space methods.
Concern Worldwide, PADF, Save The Children and many others have learned the Circles of Change methods from our trainers and have integrated them into their activities. Below, longtime friend and colleague Dr. Steven Werlin, a professor at Shimer College and staff member of Fonkoze, shares how Fonkoze will be using this new book they’ve just published with 50,000 women who are part of their micro-credit program.
The book contains stories that will be discussed by the women using our Circles of Change approach. Steven first started coming to Haiti in 1996 and has played a critical role in the development of our Circles of Change program. Click here for his regular great essays about his life in Haiti.