Eradicating extreme poverty and saving lives in Mizak, Haiti.
“The missionaries want us to LIVE; we want to GROW!”
Paul Prevost, mayor of Mizak Haiti, observed his neighbors standing in a faith-based, free lunch line. He was speaking with Valerie Mossman-Celestin who had recently moved to Haiti to research “what is help” from the local perspective.
Paul’s words stuck. In 2007, Valerie and Paul co-founded ‘Haitian Artisans for Peace International’ to economically empower women by teaching them how to use their embroidery skills to produce a marketable product.
THESE WOMEN ARTISANS ARE WHY AND HOW HAPI BECAME KNOWN. THEY LAUNCHED THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR COMMUNITY.
Across the years, HAPI listened and adapted to the assets and desires of the community. Local healthcare, especially maternal care, emerged as the single greatest need. HAPI responded with Felisane Health Center and ‘Start Right’ maternal care. ‘HAPITech’, the area’s first vocational center, soon followed. HAPI is launching a ‘Pass-the-Gift’ goat raising youth initiative for ages 15-18 years to help them pay for their education. We provide jobs for men and women at fair wages in safe working conditions.
HAPI changed our name to ‘Haitian ASSETS…’ in recognition of the evolvement and GROWTH of the organization and because we build upon existing community assets–especially the amazing local talent! But, as we like to say, “We are still HAPI!”
Where We Work
HAPI is located in the village of Mizak, Haiti. HAPI serves a communal section with a population of approximately 20,000 across an area of twenty-three governmental zones. Mizak is located about 100 miles southwest of the capital Port-o-Prince.
HAPI is a ‘beacon of light’, in an area of rugged mountains with few paved roads, no industry, no public utilities and sporadic connections via the internet to the rest of the world.
HAPI…empowering women and equipping local leadership to ERADICATE POVERTY and SAVE LIVES in Mizak, Haiti (Musac de LaVallee, Jacmel, Haiti).
Mizak Haiti is a prosperous community: peaceful and self-sustainable, with opportunity for fair wage jobs, health, and education available for ALL!