Our Haitian partners have started an Economic Development Club (EDC), an innovative program through which 67 students (ages 7 to 15) in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood are learning communication and leadership skills through presentations, discussions and debates about entrepreneurial business issues. The children meet with members of the What If? Education Team each weekend to hear presentations on subjects like “Problem-solving in business and in life”. The students then break into small teams to discuss how they might manage real-life scenarios related to the day’s topic, and to present proposed solutions in organized debates.
When elections were proposed for leadership positions in the club, over 50 of the young students chose to run for office, and each one of them delivered a campaign speech. A 12-year-old girl was elected EDC president, and she works closely with the other 5 students who were elected to leadership positions. (See photo of the whole EDC leadership team on the right.) The students participating in this new program are all getting the chance to practice presentation, collaboration, leadership, creative thinking and other useful skills through this process.
Our partners are excited to see discussions and debates continuing beyond the weekend meetings, and engaging other members of the community. Their vision is that this club will, over the long term, help stimulate entrepreneurial business development.