If you're interested in supporting a trusted nonprofit organization that's committed to improving the lives of the people in Haiti, then you should learn more about Hope for Haiti. This highly rated 501(c)(3) non-governmental organization (NGO) aims to reduce poverty in this underdeveloped island nation, while promoting the health and welfare of the people who call it home.
What Does Hope for Haiti Do?
Since its 1989 beginning, Hope for Haiti has made many substantive contributions to the country and its people.
The organization was founded by philanthropist JoAnne Kuehner, who began the nonprofit organization by focusing on education. She later partnered with Dr. Keith Hussey. The duo expanded the organization to include nutrition and healthcare as well. Kuehner continues to hold an Emeritus role on the organization's board of directors. She is the author of Oh, for the Love of Haiti!
Over time, Hope for Haiti expanded its focus to also encompass water, the economy, and infrastructure, in addition to its original focus areas. Hope for Haiti's infrastructure efforts include disaster preparedness, so it's natural for the organization to also help with disaster recovery when needed. Hope for Haiti provided millions in aid following the 2021 earthquake in Haiti and committed to providing long-term support beyond the initial impact of the disaster.
Key Hope for Haiti Programs
Hope for Haiti operates and/or funds a number of programs that make a difference in the daily lives of the people of Haiti. Examples include:
Clean Water Initiatives
Clean, safe water is in scarce supply in Haiti, which is why Hope for Haiti implemented its water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs. One aspect of these programs involves identifying areas where there is a need to install or repair wells or systems to capture water, as well as to improve sanitation by installing handwashing stations and latrines. Hope for Haiti also distributes and provides training on how to use household filtration systems. The organization also educates residents on basic hygiene and handwashing, which are key factors in preventing waterborne disease.
Haiti's infrastructure is not sufficient to support the country's needs. Hope for Haiti is working diligently to improve the situation in several ways. For example, the organization is helping to build schools so people will have places to receive an education, and public health facilities so people will have access to medical care. The organization's efforts extend far beyond helping to construct buildings. Hope for Haiti also provides assistance with sustainable agriculture practices and conservation, both of which are key elements of improving access to healthy food sources.
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Haiti is vulnerable to hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, a reality that is made all the more difficult due to the lack of sufficient infrastructure. Hope for Haiti seeks to help communities throughout the country improve their disaster response capacity. Because Haiti is at such a high risk of natural disasters, Hope for Haiti keeps a sizable inventory of emergency relief supplies on hand to deploy as needed. Following a disaster, Hope for Haiti will quickly step up to deploy resources and provide aid as needed. This was put to the test in 2021 when Haiti experienced a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
Haiti has one of the poorest education systems in the world, but Hope for Haiti is making an impact for the better. Over 7,000 children in Haiti attend schools that the organization supports, but that's not the full story. In addition to building schools, Hope for Haiti subsidizes the salaries of teachers and school directors in communities throughout Haiti. The organization also funds the purchase of school supplies, provides health education, and funds school gardens where students can gain agricultural skills and grow food. Hope for Haiti also awards several $1,000 college scholarships to Haitian students each year.
Hope for Haiti operates one primary clinic in Haiti. Located in Les Cayes, more than 15,000 receive medical care and health-related education at this clinic. It offers dental services and wound care, and focuses on the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. The organization also operates a number of mobile dental and medical clinics in several rural areas within southern Haiti. Hope for Haiti also sources and distributes, through Haiti's healthcare system, a staggering amount of medicine and medical supplies.
The organization's health education programs include training specific to food and nutrition and the impact that it has on health. The gardens that Hope for Haiti funds in schools provide students with the skills they need to participate in growing food for their families. Some of the organization's infrastructure work is focused on growing fruit trees and implementing sustainable farming.
Hope for Haiti also provides financial assistance to help fund small businesses and other economic endeavors that can positively impact Haiti. The organization provides grants and loans to Haitian entrepreneurs and local startup businesses. The organization also offers micro-loans to rural enterprises and agricultural cooperatives, and provides grants to support Haitian artisans. The goal of these programs is to support economic development and promote entrepreneurship, both factors that will have a positive impact on the people of Haiti.
How to Help
There are many ways that you can help support the work of Hope for Haiti, including donating money, cryptocurrency, or stock to the organization. The organization has earned a coveted four-star ranking on Charity Navigator, which means that donors can "give with confidence" in the organization's accountability, transparency, and financial practices. It's easy to donate to Hope for Haiti online. You can even designate your gift to a specific project if you wish. Other ways to get involved include:
- Set up your Amazon Smile account to donate a percentage of your purchases to Hope for Haiti.
- Purchase t-shirts and other merchandise from the organization's online store.
- Raise money for Hope for Haiti by participating in one of the group's special events, such as the Hike for Haiti Challenge.
These are just a few of the many ways that individuals, institutions, and corporations can help support Hope for Haiti's important work.
Who Runs Hope for Haiti?
Hope for Haiti is headquartered in Naples, Florida, and partners with people in Haiti who personally oversee its programs. The organization's website has a staff page where you can see the names, job titles, and photos of the complete Hope for Haiti team. This method ensures that all funds being donated are being used for programs in Haiti that will make a better future for the children. The organization also has a board of directors and several advisory members.
Making a Difference in Haiti
Providing assistance to the people of Haiti is a top priority since this country is one of the poorest in the western hemisphere. This country needs outside assistance to help it overcome many of the struggles it is currently facing. Hope for Haiti is one of the organizations that continues to make a difference. There are also several other U.S. based groups that focus on providing aid to Haiti, including the Hope for Haiti Foundation and the Children's Nutrition Program of Haiti.