Haven is an Irish non-governmental organisation (NGO), strongly committed to empowering the people of Haiti to build strong, sustainable livelihoods and communities.
Launched in 2008, we work solely in Haiti, focusing on three core development areas: water and sanitation, training and education, and shelter. Our long-term, sustainable development programmes and training courses promote improved health, create employment and enterprise, strengthen education, and eradicate poverty.
Our vision is to build thriving communities which prosper independently: every day, we are moving closer to making that the reality.
For more information, please visit the Haven website.
Based in the Cavaillon Valley in the south of Haiti, the Christine Farm trains local people in the strongest farming skills and supports them to sell their goods on the market. Aiming to stand as a centre of excellence for farming in Haiti, the Christine Farm hosts four connected areas of activity: a Commercial Farm, a Research and Experimental Facility, a Training Centre and a Seed Bank. 18 local people are employed on the farm, with hundreds of local people receiving training there every week. Identifying new routes to markets and growing a wide variety of crops – including aubergine, papaya, mango, peppers and sorghrum – the farm creates sustainable livelihoods, and embeds a model of farming that can be replicated across Haiti.
Arriving on 4th October 2016, Hurricane Matthew was the most powerful hurricane to strike Haiti in over fifty years. Bringing 230km/h winds and torrential rain, it devastated what already stood as one of the poorest countries in the world.
More than 1.4 million people were left in urgent need of humanitarian aid. Families, particularly children, found themselves exposed to cholera and chronic food shortages, as communities experienced unprecedented flooding and 80-100% of crops were lost.
Haven’s team led the emergency response on the island of Île à Vache, where many of its development programmes are based. In the weeks after the hurricane, Haven distributed 500,000 meals; 60,000 water-purifying tablets; 40,000 sachets of water; and 1,100 tarpaulins.
Now, Haven is looking to the future again, empowering the people of Haiti to repair their homes, regrow their crops, and restore their livelihoods on their journey to recovery.
Haven and Soul of Haiti
Haven is an Irish NGO, working in Haiti since its launch in 2008 to empower its people to build sustainable livelihoods and to live free from poverty.
In January 2016, Haven assumed the management and administration of Soul of Haiti in January 2016. Established in 2007 by a group of Ernst and Young (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year finalists, Soul of Haiti was an Irish non-profit organisation, focused on empowering communities in Haiti through social entrepreneurship.
Haven and Soul of Haiti regularly supported and collaborated on one another’s projects. This development saw all of Soul of Haiti’s team and projects on the ground transfer to Haven. By coming together, reducing costs and pooling resources, the strength of their impact in Haiti will only grow, directly benefitting the people and communities they support.
Thanks to all of Soul of Haiti’s fantastic supporters over the years – the difference your support is making will last long into the future.
Current Strategy and Three Areas of Focus
Haven’s mission is to empower Haitian communities to create their own success through their relationship with a community of Irish entrepreneurs. The over-arching objective is to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the people in Haiti.
The HavenFoundation illustrates the power of engagement of the Private Sector in development, how a business approach can be applied to project management and the sustainable benefits of economic development as a means of alleviating poverty.
Our Projects (where our funding is going)
To date the Cycle4Haiti has raised over €500,000 for the Soul of Haiti Foundation & Haven and is the single largest fundraising event for the Foundation. Expenditure of these funds initially centred around our emergency response in Port au Prince funding medical equipment for hospitals in the capital. Fund are now mainly focused on our humanitarian projects in the South of Haiti, namely the orphanage on the island of Ile a Vache and the fishing village of Abacou.
Ile a Vache
Ile a Vache Orphanage is run by a French Franciscan Nun, Sr Flora and is home to over 70 children, a third of whom are disabled. Soul of Haiti has been working with the orphanage since 2007 to improve the living conditions for the children and the working conditions for the staff. With the money raised from the Cycle4Haiti, Soul of Haiti has been able to re-roof the entire orphanage and provide medical and other supplies to assist with the care of the children.
Soul of Haiti has also funded the fitting of a new kitchen and has extended the orphanage facilities so it is better able to care for all the children. The orphanage now has a bed for each child, running water and proper toilet facilities. Soul of Haiti has also built a playground for the kids.
Despite all of this, work in the orphanage is never ending and there are always opportunities to develop the facilities. Continuous funds are being used to improve medical care for the disabled children and continue the development of the orphanage. Soul of Haiti has put in place a structure for the administration and is funding two full time staff to organise the day to day running of the orphanage so that wages and bills are paid on time and both Sr Flora and her staff are happy.
Next year we also hope to extended our efforts on the island to the local village to build a soccer pitch for the local children and we will be involved in the rebuild of the local market place square.
Soul of Haiti has also been active in the village of Abacou, along the south coast of Haiti. Abacou is a small fishing village that we have been supporting since 2007 by assisting the local fishermen to develop trade opportunities in the community. Soul of Haiti have provided the fishermen with new boats and safety equipment and have also built an enterprise centre for the village which included the installation of the solar powered refridgeration units to help improve enterprise in the area.
Funds from the Cycle4Haiti have been used to support the local school in Abacou and to buy school supplies and books for the children. Soul of Haiti will also be supporting the refurbishment of the school building including re-roofing, knocking and rebuilding a number of walls which are hazardous, building toilets and providing training courses for school leavers who want to learn a trade
Funds from the Cycle4Haiti are essential to assist with the continued work that the Foundation is undertaking in Haiti. With the funds from Cycle4Haiti 2012, the Soul of Haiti Foundation hopes to begin work in on a new orphanage in Haiti. We will also continue to support the existing humanitarian projects in the South of Haiti.