OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

The 3Legs Program: Fostering Prosperity, Peace, and Planet for Rural Haitian Communities

3Legs Program: Community Development Plan encompassing Local Grassroots Organization, Human Resource Development, and Business Development.

Photo of Mary Susan Carlson, M.D.

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Project Idea
The 3Legs Program is a rural community development plan that empowers Haitian communities to create wealth, foster peace through social justice and respect for the environment.
Its three components include:
Leg 1: Community Organization through the formation of a Local Development Committee (LDC), trained by an Animator (community organizer), which learns to compose a Local Development Plan as well as how to begin the implementation process.
Leg 2: Human Resource Development by enrolling 3 of the community's secondary school graduates to study agronomy, veterinary medicine, and business management at the University of Fondwa, Haiti's rural university. The students focus on fields of study that are vital for agrarian based community development. When the students return to their homes after graduation they will work with the LDC to foster peace and posterity in environmentally friendly ways.
Leg 3: Business Development when the LDC and uFondwa students, with appropriate training, write a Local Business Plan and receive funding to implement the plan.

Up to 75% of Haitians live in one of the country's 572 rural communities and the majority of the rural population lives on less than $2.00/day. The Haitian government provides few if any services in the rural areas: It does not build roads, water or sanitation systems, electrical grids and often does not provide schools. Rural Haitian communities must provide these for themselves or do without.

The 3Legs Program brings about peace through social justice. It empowers each community toward prosperity, improving livelihoods. It teaches communities to respect the earth, improving the environment. As more communities enroll in the program the entire country will benefit.

The 3Legs Pilot Project, with 6 rural Haitian communities, is completing its second year. Each community has an Animator, a Local Development Committee, and 3 students studying at uFondwa. Each has written a Local Development Plan.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are people living in rural Haitian communities, where, depending on the source, 50-75% of Haiti's population resides.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and there is a disparity in wealth between rural and urban areas. According to a 2014 World Bank article, approximately 70% of rural Haitian households are chronically poor, living on less than $2.00/day and lacking access to basic goods and services. Approximately 20% of Haiti’s urban population is chronically poor. The 3Legs Program, empowering rural Haitian communities, aims to lift up the poorest communities in one of the world’s poorest countries.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The 3Legs Program builds capacity in rural Haitian communities, providing the tools, education and experience, so that the communities can lift themselves from poverty.
Its goal is to sustainably create wealth by recognizing and emphasizing the community's assets and by working to rectify its deficiencies. When the University of Fondwa students graduate and return home to work with their Local Development Committee members, they will provide intellectual and technical assistance, improving agricultural output, enhancing the health of the community's animals and forming small businesses. The resultant improvement in livelihoods, using environmentally friendly methods, will foster a non-violent society, bridging prosperity, peace and planet.
The 3Legs concept is unique in that it is a national plan, encompassing a 3-prong approach to provide Haiti's rural communities with the tools to raise their own standard of living. "Haitians Transforming Haiti One Community At A Time"

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Raising Haiti Foundation, previously called Association of Peasants of Fondwa-USA (APF-USA), is a start up nonprofit whose purpose is to support the work of the Association of Peasants of Fondwa-Haiti (APF-Haiti), which aims to improve the livelihoods of rural Haitians using a grassroots development model, establishing programs for education, healthcare, clean water, sanitation, reforestation, child safety, and communication in each of Haiti's 572 rural communities. RaisingHaiti.org

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Haitian priest, Father Joseph Philippe, founded APF-Haiti, which has empowered the people of Fondwa to build a road, a clean water program, a school, an orphanage, a clinic, a reforestation program and a radio station for its community. The successes in Fondwa have spurred APF-Haiti to expand its scope, striving to empower each of Haiti’s 572 rural communities toward greater social and economic justice, using the accomplishments of Fondwa as an example and the 3Legs Program as a roadmap.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Prosperity: 3Legs aims to create wealth, lifting people in rural Haiti "from misery to poverty"; it strives to enable people to eat at least 1 hot meal a day; to upgrade the roof from thatch to tin and the floor from dirt to cement; to be able to send their children to school; to have access to clean water and a latrine.
Peace: A war is being fought in Haiti: to alleviate extreme poverty. 3Legs fosters economic justice, empowering communities to attain basic human rights by reducing poverty.
Planet: Haiti has suffered from many natural disasters including hurricanes, floods, mudslides, and the earthquake of 2010. 3Legs Pilot Program teaches environmentally friendly principals to each community's Animator, LDC and uFondwa students. They learn how to plant and nurture trees and better care for their animals, how to improve harvest yields by using improved farming techniques. These will diminish floods, mudslides and will improve the environment.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Raising Haiti Foundation (RHF) works with:
-Association of Peasants of Fondwa (APF-Haiti), which is implementing the 3Legs Pilot Project in 6 rural communities and will implement the program in additional communities when funding is available.
-University of Fondwa (uFondwa), which instructs the 3Legs students in the fields of agronomy, veterinary medicine and business management while emphasizing the responsibility of graduates to return to their home communities to work with the LDC and confers with the LDCs on community problems, helping to solve them.
-Haiti Committee at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Arlington, VA which is twinned with one of the communities in the 3Legs Pilot Project and is sponsoring the tuition of 4 students at uFondwa and supporting the training of the community's Animator.
-University of Fondwa-USA, which provides financial support for uFondwa and has agreed to provide tuition for 3 of the 19 students in the 3Legs Pilot Project.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Prior to being chosen, the 6 communities in the 3Legs Pilot Project were surveyed to assure they were ready for the program. They each had a primary and secondary school with graduates wanting to attend university; they each had a basic water/sanitation program; they each requested enrollment in the 3Legs program. Currently each community has an Animator, who receives training from APF-Haiti; each has a Local Development Committee which meets monthly; each has students at uFondwa.

Geographic Focus

The 3Legs Program targets rural Haitian communities.
Other countries could use the concept.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The 3Legs Pilot Project is a 5-year project and is nearing the completion of its second year. The pilot will last another 3 years, the time needed for the students to graduate from University of Fondwa where Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine are 5-year programs and Business Management is a 4-year program. The Business Management students will graduate in the spring of 2020; the Agronomy and Vet Med students will graduate in the spring of 2021. Evaluation will begin in spring 2021.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • Yes

If Yes, how has project idea changed, grown, or evolved since last year? (2,000 characters)

The 3Legs Pilot Project has matured since the 3Legs idea was submitted last year. The Animator and Local Development Committee in each of the 6 communities in the Pilot Program have had an additional year of training. In the winter of 2018 each LDC conducted a survey and wrote a Local Development Plan for their communities. The 3Legs students attending the University of Fondwa have completed another year at the university and the University of Fondwa is in the process of revising its curriculum so that all classes focus on the 3Legs concept. The Pilot Project is ready to initiate the 3rd Leg of 3Legs (Business Development). A grant application has been completed, and if approved, the University of Fondwa students from the 6 participating communities, along with their community's Animator and Local Development Committee, will participate in a competition to write the most promising business development plan. Funds permitting, the top one or two communities will have their business development plan implemented.
Additionally, the 3Legs Pilot Program has been so well received in the 6 participating communities, other rural sections are requesting enrollment in the program.

Attachments (1)

3 Legs One Sheet (1) (1) (1).pdf

3Legs Program description

11 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Brian Bauer
Team

Mary Susan Carlson, M.D. Hi Mary, really interesting project. I was drawn to your project as my project also offers root cause solutions to improve opportunities for Haitians. I live in Chile and last year about 1% of Haiti has visited Chile, many to start a new life in Chile. Foundations helping Haitian's integrate into Chile believe there are about 134,000 Haitians living in Chile. Most have arrived over the past two years. Most are looking for an improved opportunity than what rural Haiti is offering. We offer ultra low cost technology, Talking Stickers, that is customized between French or Haitian Creole to Spanish to help young Haitian children learn Spanish and while doing this, pass on Spanish learning opportunity to their parents. In Chile, without Spanish most opportunity is greatly limited...if your interested, I would really appreciate any feedback on how we might be able to make our offer more human centred / optimized to benefit Haitians. Best of luck with your proposal! Brian
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/bridgebuilder2/ideas/using-digitized-talking-stickers-to-create-a-linguistic-bridge-for-haitian-immigrants-struggling-to-understand-chilean-spanish-culture

Photo of Mary Susan Carlson, M.D.
Team

Hey Brian,
Thanks for your message and for what you are doing to help Haitians in Chile. I knew that there were many Haitians who immigrated to Chile (and many other places) but I had no idea that there are 134,000 Haitians living in Chile.
Thank you for asking for my feedback on how to make Talking Stickers more "human centered/optimized to benefit Haitians". My suggestion is for your group to listen to the Haitians on your team and to the children and their parents/families who are the beneficiaries. Try to incorporate their suggestions into Talking Stickers. Empower them to guide the program. They won't let you down.
I hope this helps.
Thanks again for your help for the people of Haiti and best wishes for the success of Talking Stickers.
Kindly,
Sue Carlson

Photo of Brian Bauer
Team

Hi Sue, thanks a lot for your valuable insights and amazing dedication to helping Haitians.

Our app is designed to largely follow most of your suggestions. What we would see as ideal is working with Haitians who have been in Chile for a year or two and have them involved with helping new Haitian immigrants so they can learn Spanish and better integrate into Chilean culture-with a focus on children aged 3-7. We also plan to work with Chilean foundations striving to help Haitians integrate into Chile, so the educational/linguistic content would be developed with both Haitian's on the ground with significant experience in Chile, and experienced Chilean educators so the two (Haitians and Chilean educators), can bridge opportunity to optimize opportunities for Haitians striving to create new opportunity in Chile.
Once again, all the best with the amazing work you are doing in Haiti. Best, Brian

Photo of Brian Bauer
Team

Hi Sue, thanks a lot for your valuable insights and amazing dedication to helping Haitians.

Our app is designed to largely follow most of your suggestions. What we would see as ideal is working with Haitians who have been in Chile for a year or two and have them involved with helping new Haitian immigrants so they can learn Spanish and better integrate into Chilean culture-with a focus on children aged 3-7. We also plan to work with Chilean foundations striving to help Haitians integrate into Chile, so the educational/linguistic content would be developed with both Haitian's on the ground with significant experience in Chile, and experienced Chilean educators so the two (Haitians and Chilean educators), can bridge opportunity to optimize opportunities for Haitians striving to create new opportunity in Chile.
Once again, all the best with the amazing work you are doing in Haiti. Best, Brian

View all comments