inspired by A Relief effort
The creation of Haiti Enpak is inspired by an effective relief effort that supported 54 merchants who lost their merchandises on the night of February 2nd, 2016. An arson burnt down several street merchants merchandises in a market in Port-au-Prince. Meschac, Founder of Haiti Enpak, launched a campaign and successfully raised $5K goal within 48 hours of the incident. The relief effort was led by a group of young people in Haiti who invited the merchants to an official gathering where each received a check to help them restart their businesses. (Read the story in the news Le Nouveliste and Radio Metropol Haiti).
The success of the relief effort led to an interest in finding systematic ways to get young people involved in social development initiatives at a grassroots level.
The relief effort showcases what young people can do and how they can impact lives and communities if giving the opportunity and resources. Like a common Haitian proverb says “lajenes se lespwa” meaning youth is hope. Believing that youth is hope means they need to be empowered and enabled to grow into leaders to develop the country.
Combining his passion for education, community service, and development Meschac seized the opportunity to engage youth in schools through extracurricular programs which is something that is not typically offered in/by schools in Haiti. The underlying thought process is that, young people in Haiti must be educated beyond the academics. Education should be planned with a purpose to equip students, develop them as leaders and provide them with concrete ways to engage in community development. Only then, can they really tackle the challenges communities are facing throughout Haiti. #educate2transform #educatewithpurpose
The reality is that young people in Haiti are often viewed as service recipients but not leaders or the resources that they are for the development of the country. We aim to change such view by giving them opportunity to participate in development. Researches and studies have proven that participation strengthens social and environmental development, as well as create positive effects on youth personal confidence, civic competencies, and leadership development. That said, engaging the youth can truly be the engine for hope and change.
At this point, we know that technical expertise and financial aid cannot alone address the challenges facing Haiti today. Therefore, it is imperative that we focus on youth leadership and grassroots as integral part of Haiti's development as we look for effective and sustainable solutions to transform communities.