Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP)
About the organization:
The Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP) is a UUSC partner organization. MPP was founded in 1973 and has 60,000 members throughout the country. Its focus includes organic agriculture, peasants’ rights, and environmental protection. MPP’s mission is to promote the organization of the rural poor in Haiti (men, women, and youth) in order to build a society where basic human needs are satisfied — food, housing, education, employment, health care — and in which the identity and liberty of the people are respected.
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MPP uses popular education to allow impoverished peasants to become aware of their situation of exploitation and oppression, so that they can organize and mobilize themselves. The goal is true agrarian reform that will allow impoverished peasants to participate in different stages of the production process and to be the main beneficiaries of what they produce.
MPP is a partner organization of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. After the earthquake in 2010, MPP donated several hectares of land for families fleeing the destruction in Port au Prince. MPP’s former Executive Director Chavannes Jean Baptiste developed a plan for building more than just homes on this site: his vision is to build long-term sustainable livelihoods for the families left homeless by the tragedy, as well as for other Haitian families seeking food sovereignty. In UUSC/MPP’s Eco-Village pilot project, these families left behind their years in refugee camps and found homes as well as a means of livelihood through cultivating the land. In addition, the vision includes making the Eco-Village a model for alternative technologies, such as solar energy and compost latrines.
For more information on UUSC & MPP’s collaboration in Haiti, go to http://www.uusc.org/haiti.
To read more about MPP, go to the English version of their website at http://www.mpphaiti.org/?lang=en.
MPP would like to have volunteers embedded in particular work teams, such as communications, administration, marketing, or agronomy. A one-month minimum stay is requested. Skills that have been requested include:
- Engineering – designing equipment for food processing that works in their setting
- Developing a process to make soap, oils, and shampoos with MPP’s fresh herbs and fruit
- Website development / general communications
- Video filming and editing
- Document translation (Kreyol to English)
- Solar technology
- Marketing & commercialization
- Child psychology & mental health
Volunteers who are fluent in Haitian Creole, French, or Spanish are preferred. If you would like to be placed with MPP but don’t have the appropriate language skills, it is possible to hire a local translator for $25/day. However, since the translator will not be with you during off-hours, it would be advisable to also complete the Creole course at http://www.haitihub.com before you begin.
Accommodation and Meals: MPP has a guesthouse with running (cold) water, electricity, mosquito nets, and fans. Meals will be provided at MPP’s cafeteria, and vegetarian meals can be accommodated.
There is no payment needed to UUCSJ. Costs to volunteers include in-country transportation (approximately $100), food and housing (estimated at $250 a week), and, if needed, a translator ($25 a day). Other expenses include your flight, passport and vaccinations (if applicable), and incidentals such as snacks and gifts.
Zanmi Timoun/Friends of the Children
About the organization:
Zanmi Timoun (Creole for “Friend of the Children”) is one of UUSC’s partner organizations in Haiti. It is a direct service and advocacy organization founded in 2001, whose core objective is to promote the rights of children in Haiti Their two main areas of work are rehabilitation of restevek children (children trapped in the equivalent of domestic slavery in private homes), and providing shelter and sustenance for unaccompanied minors of Haitian descent who have been deported from the Dominican Republic. Their work with these refugees is located in three towns on the Haiti/D.R. border.
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In their work supporting youth of all ages in all 10 departments of Haiti, Zanmi Timoun has reintegrated 500 children who have been living as restavek back into their families of origin. Zanmi Timoun runs two vocational centers that offer professional training, human rights education, and psychosocial services for youth within, or emerging from, restavek. More than 350 young women and men have learned skills in plumbing, sewing and batik, electricity, graphic design, and commercial baking. Zanmi Timoun also operates five community schools that serve more than 300 children each year.
In their shelters for unaccompanied minors on the Haitian/Dominican border, Zanmi Timoun provides for children’s basic needs for housing and food, and works to reunify deported children with family members in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They train border monitoring committees and create child protection committees; provide a recreational area; offer psychosocial support for traumatized youth; and coordinate a response to the refugee crisis among local authorities and other community organizations.
One of Zanmi Timoun’s priorities is advocating on national and international levels for stronger laws and policies to protect children and ensure their access to human rights. This helps push children’s rights forward on the structural scale — toward a future where no child will need to worry about being forced from the homes and communities they know and love.
Zanmi Timoun has requested volunteers with the following skills, for a one month minimum stay:
- Documentation / Report writing / Research
- Child psychologist or trauma specialist
- Audio/video documentation and editing
- Web design
- Ability to teach technical professional skills (sowing, construction – any marketable skill to use for self-employment)
Volunteers who are fluent in French or Creole are highly preferred for work in Port-Au-Prince, or translators can be hired for $50/day. Fluency in Spanish is required for work with deported minors on the border, as Spanish translators are not as easy to hire and the area is remote.
Accommodation and Meals:
Accommodation in Port-Au-Prince will be a room rental in a private home affiliated with Zanmi Timoun, in close proximity to their training location. On the border, housing will be provided in the same shelter facility where the children sleep (though in a separate room). It is unknown at this time if balanced vegetarian meals can be accommodated, though it is likely that most meals will not include meat.
In Port-Au-Prince housing costs are around $300 a month, or $75 a week, and food will likely cost an additional $300/month or $75/week as well. If you need a hired translator in Port-Au-Prince, budget for $50/day. There are no housing costs when volunteering on the border.
Midwives for Haiti/Saj Fam Pou Ayiti
About the organization:
Midwives for Haiti is based in Hinche in the Haute Plateau region of Haiti, and offers a rigorous 12-month training program for Haitian nurses to become Skilled Birth Attendants. Visiting volunteer international midwives and other medical professionals support four Haitian teachers and supplement the students’ learning and skills.
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When students complete their classroom and clinical hours for the program, they receive a certificate of advanced training from the Ministry of Health and go on to work in hospitals, birth centers, and in rural settings throughout Haiti. Since 2006, Midwives for Haiti has trained 95 Skilled Birth Attendants. As there are currently less than 100 obstetricians and 100 nurse-midwives in Haiti, MFH graduates make up nearly 1/3 of the total skilled providers working in Haiti. In 2014, graduates performed over 64,000 prenatal exams and provided skilled care at over 10,000 births throughout Haiti.
MFH works in collaboration with Haiti’s Ministry of Health and other organizations to deliver culturally appropriate, high impact health interventions. Their projects educate and empower Haitian men and women to improve the health of their communities, creating lasting change in their lives and the lives of the mothers and children they care for.
Midwives for Haiti was founded in 2003 by Nadine Brunk, a U.S.-American Certified Nurse Midwife. Although UUCSJ does not usually place volunteers with organizations that are not started and run by the local community, we agreed that Midwives for Haiti would be a good fit for us because their staff is now nearly 90% Haitian, and their purpose is to build a strong, independent Haitian workforce to support maternal and child health.
For more information, visit their website at: https://www.midwivesforhaiti.org
Medical: Depending on where the class is in the curriculum, medical volunteers are needed to work with the Skilled Birth Attendant students as preceptors or adjunct faculty. The minimum stay is two weeks.
Non-Medical: Please let us know if you have other special skills in professional development that may be able to support MFH programs and staff. This includes, but is not limited to: grant writing; media communications; data collection; human resources; database management; and program evaluation. The non-medical volunteer position is not a clinical one, and does not allow for patient interaction or care. The minimum stay is two weeks.
Medical Volunteers (volunteer teachers/preceptors) must have active medical licenses and credentials and may only perform procedures in Haiti that fall within the scope of that license. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), Licensed Midwives (LMs), OB/GYN physicians and nurses, Labor/Delivery Nurses, along with Lactation Consultants (LCs) are needed as volunteers. We also welcome other medical professionals who have skills and experience they would like to volunteer. Students — nursing, midwifery, doula, and medical — are discouraged from volunteering unless they already have a medical license to practice or bring a licensed preceptor to supervise them and can come the months that our own students are not in clinical practice.
Motivated, self-directed volunteers must also be flexible and sensitive to their role in a foreign country and prepared to work alongside our Haitian staff and their protocols. Medical experience in the developing world is certainly an asset to the program but not required.
Another requirement is to teach what you know in a clear and simple manner. This means using a multitude of teaching methods, visuals, demonstrations, and methods of testing knowledge that may require some creativity.
Translators are provided for each volunteer so there are no language requirements, although proficiency in Creole or French would be helpful.
Accommodation and Meals:
Accommodation is provided in a 4-person dorm setting in the same building where the classes are given, although there may or may not be others sharing the room at the same time. The living conditions, though luxurious by Haitian standards, are simple and rustic. There is no AC, a toilet that may not flush, and short, cold showers. Meals are also provided on-site and are usually vegetarian (which can always be accommodated).
Cost: If you wish to attend a UUCSJ “Beyond Just Recovery” journey and stay on to volunteer with Midwives for Haiti, the cost will be $450 for each week beyond the initial program. If you wish to go to Midwives for Haiti on your own, the cost is $750 for the first week and $450 for each additional week. Other expenses include your flight, passport and vaccinations (if applicable), and incidentals such as snacks and gifts.