By Rebecca Obounou, As I reflect upon 2017 and what it has meant for me as a leader and for my team, the single greatest word that comes to mind is “stretch”. Researchers have shown that stretching is a key part of a healthy exercise regimen that increases physical strength, agility and prevents injury to the body particularly as the body ages. As we have been building our experience and credibility as an organization, an onus was placed on us to do more to respond to the demand in Haiti for the......
Born and raised in Haiti, Stephan Berrouet Durand is an award winning and highly acclaimed Chef and Culinary Ambassador traveling the world promoting Haiti’s gastronomy. He has become the face of the culinary movement in Haiti as the initiator and Chef host of “Gout et Saveurs Lakay” Haiti Food & Spirits Festival and was featured in the first video of Haiti’s national tourism campaign “ Let me take you to discover Haiti”. Using his passion for Haiti, Chef Stephan has made a name for himself being invited to represent Haiti in a......
By Vanessa Etienne, CHES Haiti Operations Director All my life, I have always been drawn to serving others. That’s why in all the positions that I worked, I have always looked for how I could help others grow in my role. I was born and raised in Haiti and have traveled to many provinces in the country. I realized that we have so many ways of developing the island. I have always believed that developing the country should be a work done from within and that the economic growth of my country......
By Rebecca Obounou There are many people with a heart for Haiti who lack a MIND for Haiti as the documentary Poverty, Inc. so eloquently states it. Haiti is a country that needs conscious businesses that create economic value and social value simultaneously. The world needs such businesses. Conscious businesses are one of the keys to combatting poverty. As a nonprofit organization, we must constantly evaluate and re-evaluate our selves to ensure that we are not promoting dependency but the reverse: self-sufficiency and independence. We evaluate this by closely looking at a number......
These are exhilarating times! We are so proud of ourselves for coming this far on so little. When CHES first started out, we had little time, little experience, and no funding. However, we had a common vision and mission. We pooled our time, our expertise, and our funds to start. We grew the little that we had and we’ve done a great deal together with present and past volunteers and institutions that have given us their support. Nonprofits must measure and evaluate (M&E) their services to assess their effectiveness and justify their......
VIEW THE PRETTY VERSION HERE. We at CHES are proud to say that sales of products that we source from Haitian companies are a significant source of funding for the programming we offer entrepreneurs in rural Haiti. We are so happy to support Haitian companies that believe in benefiting society through creating employment and benefiting multiple stakeholders – Haitian companies that offer high quality products produced in Haiti. CHES loves marketing these products as it gives us a chance to share another side of Haiti with our supporters. These products help our......
Authored by Rebecca Roseme Working in Haiti requires patience, perseverance and PARTNERSHIP. This summer CHES was fortunate to have worked in partnership with Partners for Change (PfC). I first met Myriam Jeannis, the founder and executive director of PfC many years ago as I was sitting at a community event selling products to promote and to fundraise for CHES. We quickly developed a rapport and kept in touch for several years. During that time, we looked for ways to work together. We finally found the right thing: business training in Gonaives, Haiti for......
By Rebecca Obounou Myriam and I had the opportunity to attend the Haiti Renewal Alliance (HRA) Expo recently in Washington, D.C at the World Bank. It was a two-day conference focused on investment opportunities in Haiti and the other Caribbean countries. The conference provided plenty of opportunity for networking with key people at the center of all levels of investment in Haiti and other Caribbean nations. Among those in attendance were members of the World Bank, US and Haitian governments such as the USAID and Haiti’s Ministry of Finance, private sector funders such as Manchester Trade......
Written by Rebecca Obounou I had the opportunity to attend a small documentary screening at the Irish International Immigration Center (IIIC) in May for Haitian Heritage Month. This documentary was produced by Lindsay Day, a student at Northeastern University. The short film is informative. It talks of how the US mishandled its first real refugee crisis. Haitian’s fleeing political instability in Haiti from 1991-1994 arrived in the United States mostly in boats by the tens of thousands. The short documentary treats the US government’s management of this situation. Eventually, the refugees that were not deported to......
By Rebecca Obounou Recently during a conversation with a coach I shared the work that CHES is doing in Haiti. I also shared the challenges that we are encountering in attracting the right people to the work that we are doing. She asked me a great question that I realized that I’ve never really answer when I pitch what we do in CHES. I never really answer the question “Why Haiti?” when I answer “Why CHES?” “‘Why should anyone be interested in Haiti when there are so many other regions in the world in......