Dialogue and Development in Haiti’s Northeast
February 16, 2012
Since 2001, Circles of Change – the centerpiece of our Teachers program – has been training teachers and leaders in Haiti how to effectively work together through dialogue. Over the course of 6 months, participants learn to listen and speak with care, to work collaboratively, and when necessary, to disagree respectfully. The program is popular because of the stark contrast it offers to the extreme authoritarianism that has characterized too much leadership in Haiti since colonial times.
But Haiti doesn’t just need improved leadership. It desperately needs to get things done. It needs to build infrastructure, create jobs, root out corruption, strengthen the government, and the list goes on. How does this kind of education help Haiti get more done?
A great example is the “Improving Communication Project” we launched last fall in partnership with USAID (the U.S. government’s development branch) in Haiti’s northeast province. This project is improving collaboration among citizens and local officials (like mayors and community leaders) so they can manage the exciting, rapid development that a major industrial park will bring to the region. These groups are working to identify and prioritize their communities’ needs and propose projects that will bring them solutions.
To watch these groups in action, view the video above.
Supporting practical development through dialogue is another example of how Haiti Partners is “helping Haitians change Haiti through education.”