Latest Update: Last month, we received draft designs for the new Community Leadership & Development Center from the architect! The designs include lodging areas, classrooms, outdoor terraces, kitchens, lounges, conference rooms, a dining room, and an auditorium across two floors and about 15,000 square feet!
The Center: The Community Leadership & Development Center will be the focal point of our Haitian partner’s work on La Gonave, providing the island’s population (approx. 85,000 residents) with a meeting and training facility where local authorities can strengthen their management and leadership skills and communities can come together to plan and organize sustainable projects that improve quality of life on the island. The facility will also include a guesthouse and additional office space for rent, which will provide Rasin Devlopman with a sustainable source of revenue and greater financial independence. It will be a permanent resource for La Gonave and its leaders and a hub for successful community-led development that will serve as an example for the world. This is Roots’ biggest and most ambitious project to date--and it will also be our most impactful.
Next steps: With your support, we’ve purchased the land for the leadership center, hired an architect, done a land survey, and acquired an initial design! We’re currently working on finalizing the design and developing a budget and will then be ready to begin fundraising for its construction. We need your help to make this vision a reality, so please consider making a tax-deductible donation or becoming a monthly donor: https://rootsofdevelopment.org/leadership-center-in-haiti
This work is not possible without you! Thank you.
Chad W. Bissonnette
With your support last year, our partner in Haiti, Rasin Devlopman, purchased a piece of land for a future leadership center. A leadership center that will serve and help strengthen leaders on the island of La Gonave for generations to come. Now we are working with an architect to design the facility.
LATEST UPDATE: Last month, we helped Rasin Devlopman secure an experienced architecture firm to design the space and develop a budget for its construction.
THE ARCHITECTURE FIRM: The firm is called Moun Studio. It is a Haitian architecture firm led by architects Daniel Élie and Philippe Châtelain. Together they have more than forty years of experience designing the construction, restoration, and renovation of numerous private homes, buildings, monuments, and public spaces throughout Haiti. Mr. Élie is the former director of the Institute for the Safeguarding of National Heritage (ISPAN), an autonomous body of the Haitian Ministry of Culture responsible for the conservation of monuments and historical sites. Together, Mr. Élie and Mr. Châtelain have collaborated on a number of high-profile restoration and conservation works in Haiti, including the old cathedral of Port-au-Prince, the Palace of Sans-Souci, and the Citadelle Henri Christophe in Cap-Haitien.
VISITING THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: Last week, architect Daniel Élie flew for the first time from mainland Haiti to La Gonave to spend two days with the team and visit the site of the future leadership center. While on the island, he was able to take measurements and assess the quality of the soil and surrounding environment. He visited other construction sites and businesses on the island to see what is being built - and how - and what materials are available on the island. Now, with a better understanding of the site, along with the needed measurements and a list of the desired spaces that will form the leadership center, Mr. Élie is equipped to develop an initial design.
As you can read, we are making exciting progress but Rasin Devlopment and the people of La Gonave need our ongoing support to realize this project. They need our continued and steadfast support. Please make a tax-deductible donation today or consider giving monthly.
This work is not possible without you! Thank you.
Chad W. Bissonnette
Our Haitian sister organization, Rasin Devlopman, now owns a piece of land on La Gonave and is one step closer to being able to build a leadership and community development center that will serve the island and its leaders for generations to come.
DETAILS: We began fundraising for the purchase of the land on September 13th and, thanks to your generosity, raised the full $35,000 needed by December 31st. We raised 43% of the funds through this campaign (in partnership with GlobalGiving), and the rest offline, during our online event in November, and via our website www.rootsofdevelopment.org. Once we had raised the full amount, we made a transfer to Haiti, and with the authorization of Rasin's Board of Directors, Program Director Louino Robillard completed the purchase with the owners of the land and the Direction Générale des Impôts (DGI). Image above.
NEXT STEPS: Together with Rasin, we are currently reviewing proposals from four (4) Haitian architectural firms. We hope to decide on a partner firm within the next thirty (30) days and have a design and budget for the future leadership center in hand by the end of March. Stay tuned and continue to support our project to build a permanent Leadership and Community Development Center on the island of La Gonave, Haiti. #DevelopmentWithoutDependency
Please support our sustainable development efforts by donating today: www.rootsofdevelopment.org/donate
With two large offline donations made at our annual event and the contributions that came in on Giving Tuesday, we are only $6,222 away from having the funds needed to help our partner in Haiti buy the land for the future leadership center on La Gonave.
With one more push and a final donation from our supporters in 2021, we believe we can finalize the land purchase before the end of the year. In fact, if you and each of the other donors who have supported this project thus far, were to donate just $41 right now, we would hit our goal today and have the plot of land purchased by the 31st.
This would be a tremendous achievement and allow us to focus entirely on getting the design and construction of the Leadership & Development Center started next year. The plot of land measures approximately 1,200 square meters. We expect to build on a little more than half of that, which would mean a facility of about 600-700 square meters (6,500-7,500 square feet).
To acquire a design for the center, Louino Robillard, Rasin Devlopman's Program Director, and I have begun speaking with several architectural firms in Haiti. We had a meeting with Ateliers Co-Lab yesterday and will be speaking with three others next week. We are asking each firm to submit a proposal for developing a design for the leadership center and will choose the winning firm based on cost, clarity, creativity, and previous experience.
Stay tuned for more! We promise to keep you updated and please consider making a final 2021 donation today.
On Thursday, November 4, 2021, with your support, we helped our partner organization, Rasin Devlopman, make a deposit on the piece of land they hope to purchase by the end of the year. Rasin's Program Director, Louino Robillard, and the owners of the land signed a document confirming the details of the sale and exchanged a deposit to confirm Rasin Devlopman's plan to purchase the land once all funds have been raised.
Louino Robillard recently wrote the following when explaining the importance of the leadership center...
"Our vision and commitments have outgrown the physical space we currently. For the past four years, Rasin Devlopman and Roots of Development have been renting a house in the town of Anse-à-Galets, which provides us with a small office, a kitchen, and a few guest rooms. While this setup has allowed us to run our programs and welcome a small number of visitors and trainers to the island, the space cannot accommodate all of of our "Volunteers for Change" at once, let alone the other leaders, learners, and innovators that we want to bring together. When we have trainings, the "Volunteers for Change" often need to travel back and forth on a daily basis from their homes to Anse-à-Galets; not only does this limit the time we have with them, but it exposes them to extra risks on what are often dangerous roads. It also consumes extra resources to rent training space from other organizations, in addition to the funds we are spending on renting the main office space each month. We believe those resources could instead be better spent investing in more sustainable infrastructure to support Rasin's identity, services, and mission."
The land measures approximately 13,000 sq feet and overlooks the coast of La Gonave and mainland Haiti. Its GPS coordinates are 18.8375244, -72.8845212 and is located in the port town of Anse-a-Galets, La Gonave's most populated town and the maritime gateway between the island and mainland.
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