Our Partners in Haiti
Since 2000, the What If? Foundation has partnered with members of the Ti Plas Kazo community in Port-au-Prince to provide children in the area with food and educational opportunities. They are the ones who prepare and serve thousands of food program meals every week, and who run the school scholarships, after-school and summer camp programs. The commitment and expertise of our Haitian partners, combined with the financial resources provided by donors to the What If? Foundation, are what make these desperately needed programs possible.
In early 2012, we were excited to celebrate our partners’ success, after years of planning and paperwork, in becoming a legally-recognized organization in Haiti. They now call themselves “Na Rive”, which means “we will arrive” in Haitian Creole. It is a name many of you will recognize as the second part of the popular Haitian proverb Piti Piti Na Rive.
The members of the Board of Na Rive (one of whom, Lavarice Gaudin, is pictured on the right) include some of our most trusted partners, who have experience ranging from earning MBA and MA’s, to working for decades in community organizing, programming, and nonprofit management. They share deep roots in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood and many of them worked closely with Fr. Gerry Jean-Juste when he was alive. And they have supported the programs with their leadership and heart through many challenges over the years, including the earthquake and its aftermath.
We are grateful that our work has grown and evolved to the point of our partners being recognized at this new level. Now that the food and education programs that we fund have relocated out of the St. Clare’s rectory, our partners’ recognition as a Haitian nonprofit organization is a necessary and natural next step in the exciting transition of the programs onto the new property. It seems a natural progression after our working together for so long.