AMURTEL has had a presence in Haiti for over 20 years, partnering with local people to provide a children’s home, schools, clinics, literacy programs, reforestation initiatives, micro credit finance, and women’s leadership programs.
After the earthquake on Saturday August 14, 2010, AMURTEL Haiti volunteers created Child Friendly Spaces and distributed tarps to families whose homes were destroyed by the earthquake. So many were already struggling with overwhelming poverty, and in the midst of political turmoil the loss of family members, homes, and jobs was especially devastating. You can see AMURTEL’s presence at the food distribution program in the picture to the right.
Disaster Relief Programs
AMURTEL’s programs are community-based. We began working with four local Haitian women trained as community organizers. These organizers (or animators, as they are called in Creole) work in the camps helping the women organize into committees, performing regular needs assessments, and partnering with the camp leaders to determine relevant interventions.
These four animators were so inspired by their work with AMURTEL that they helped to create a micro finance program to create economic opportunities for the women in the camps.
The creation of the finance organization began with much planning and research into best practices. MIKFAB (Micro Kredi Fanm-yo Viktim AMURTEL) invites participating women to work in groups of six, so each can support the others. We provide training in business skills and non-violent communication to assist the women in being successful in their endeavors.
Following the 2010 earthquake and also following the 2017 hurricane, AMURTEL was informed by women in the refugee camps that they were interested in starting small businesses in order to get back on their feet. After much planning, a Microfinance Project was created to support these women in that task. Currently, about 80 women are participating and using micro credit to finance a pathway to a more sustainable future. This program has been successful; so far, we have 100% repayment from all participants. The local women involved and our volunteers seek to expand MIKFAB and continue to invest in the economic sovereignty of Haitians. The picture to the left shows a lecture on Microfinance given by an AMURTEL volunteer. Please consider contributing financially to this project on our Donation page.
The AMURTEL Haiti Children’s Home is a home for several babies and children who either need a permanent home or full- or part-time support. Many of the children, who have experienced neglect or abandonment, are thriving due to the loving and supportive atmosphere of the Home. Whenever possible, ties to the families of participating children are maintained and supported.
AMURTEL Haiti runs two schools in Haiti; one in Port Au Prince, the other in Anse a Pitre. Both AMSAI schools use a curriculum and educational philosophy based on Neo-Humanism–a philosophy that propagates love for all creation. The philosophy seeks to acknowledge the spiritual, mental, and physical aspects of a child through the methods of creative arts, supportive sharing circles, and yoga asanas. This educational philosophy is employed as a way of fostering compassionate caretakers and leaders in our future society.