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Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti

by Public-Private Alliance Foundation
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Tracking clean cookstoves & fuel in Haiti
Masked girl makes masks
Masked girl makes masks

12th Report – Climate and COVID-19

Dear Supporters and friends,

So much has changed since our last report in mid-January.  University classes and the young entrepreneurs’ classes that had gotten underway in Haiti after political turmoil of the latter half of 2019, and clubs for girls,  have now been overturned by the global pandemic of COVID-19.  But despite the quarantine imposed on institutions we work with, we applaud their innovation in the face of adversity and their building upon work done together to face new challenges.  Consequently, PPAF has begun and expects to continue new support to our colleagues at the University Notre Dame d’Haiti at Hinche (UNDH-H), the Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC) in Jacmel and the Haiti Adolescent Girls Network (HAGN), which is based in Port-au-Prince.

In the midst of the pandemic crisis, GlobalGiving offered micro-grants of $1,000 to organizations to help cope and innovate.  PPAF applied and was awarded one of these to help UNDH-H provide supplies, training and fieldwork through its university and clinic, which is staffed by the university and open to the public.  A report on activities and accomplishments is forthcoming. 

GlobalGiving also offered 50% matching for funds that could be raised in its Climate Action Campaign, which was focused on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  PPAF reached out to its network of supporters and raised enough in those few days to merit a full $3,000 of this bonus.  The work with collaborators for solar and biogas teaching, and sewing and cooking classes, and support for a brighter future for teenage girls, as we have shown previously (see the 10th report for example), creates a strong connection among sustainable energy, women’s and girls’ empowerment and climate change.  These features gain added importance in the face of the pandemic.  We will report on actions taken in the near future.

In the meantime, we can point out that members of the ACFFC classes we support come to the center, within the current restrictions, to help out with simple meals on solar cookers and to make and distribute facemasks from dress fabric for families and people in the neighborhood.  Several hundred masks have been made to date.

Please see the attached photos for illustration of current work, and look for more information in our next report.

Thank you so much to all the contributors who are making this possible!

Jacmel - cooking on solar despite COVID-19
Jacmel - cooking on solar despite COVID-19
UNDH-H staff in the clinic
UNDH-H staff in the clinic
Washing hands in Hinche
Washing hands in Hinche
Mask for Jacmel neighbor
Mask for Jacmel neighbor

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Solar and Biodigester/ Biogas instructors
Solar and Biodigester/ Biogas instructors

Dear Supporters and Friends,

In this 11th report on our project we want to thank you for continued support and highlight a few elements of our work with collaborators in Haiti. 

Very much on our minds during these past months has been the political and humanitarian crisis in Haiti, with the country locked down by huge demonstrations and blockades.  Only by the end of the year did tensions ease enough for roads, schools and businesses to reopen.  People are suffering from lack of fuel, food, health, schooling, employment and any other metrics. We have thought and said over and over that if solar and biogas cooking and garden fertilizer were more widely available, people could more adequately live independent of the tremendous dependence on petroleum and charcoal for daily cooking. 

The University Notre Dame d’Haiti at Hinche, and the Art Creation Foundation for Children in Jacmel were able to resume activities by the end of November. We are glad to be able to resume support to them, and show evidence of their activity.  Please see the attached photos. 

As I write it is the 10th anniversary of the terrible earthquake that struck Haiti, which led to PPAF’s involvement there.  It is a solemn moment of remembrance, but friends in the Smallholder Farmers Alliance have put together a special publication highlighting the work and accomplishments of 46 organizations or projects.  It is entitled “Voices of Hope for Haiti’s Future.” PPAF and collaborators were honored to be included in it.  A copy of that is attached as well.

As stated before, our work is innovative and effective.  It focuses on renewable energy, environmental concerns and empowerment of girls and women.  With Haitian and American colleagues we support --

* university teaching and fieldwork on solar cookers and biodigesters for biogas fuel and garden fertilizer

* a young entrepreneurs program that teaches baking and sewing skills for low income children

* assistance to a program that helps impoverished adolescent girls grow into capable young women

* promotion of photos by a talented young Haitian artist

* seminars and presentations for information exchange and advocacy.

As you know, PPAF is a volunteer-based organization with long arms and many collaborators. 

At Hinche the second group of university students is now learning in class and in practice the benefits of solar cookers, biodigesters and biogas and to maintain the new tree nursery on campus.  The Vice Rector and students are eager to continue. PPAF has provided a new round of funding and our collaborating experts in solar and biodigesters/biogas have updated their materials for support to the teachers. 

In Jacmel the first round of cooking and sewing classes progressed well and a second group of students have taken up the program.  The instructors and new groups of students are eager to continue. 

The nationwide program that helps teenage girls build self-confidence and life skills  has benefitted from our inputs toward financial literacy and income generation.  PPAF was also able to bring a senior staff member to participate in a program on Haiti that took place at Purchase College/SUNY.  (See more about this below.)

PPAF and friends were glad to participate at (T)HERE: A Global Festival of Arts, Culture & Ideas of HAITI, held November 14-16 at Purchase College of the State University of New York.  We offered information and ideas and networked with a variety of organizations.  At the session Envisioning Haiti's Future held on Saturday the 16th  we joined in discussions and demonstrations  that focused on community engagement organizations based in Haiti and the U.S. Our group included members from Solar Cookers International, Solar CITIES Global Biogas Education, and Université Notre Dame d’Haiti.  Purchase College invited several of the organizations for that session at our suggestion.  We made possible the visit from the Haiti Adolescent Girls Network and a display of photos by a Haitian colleague. 

We are delighted to report on good work and recognition of it by others.  Thank you for your support GlobalGiving contributors!

New students learning to assemble solar cookers
New students learning to assemble solar cookers
Cooking class underway
Cooking class underway
Participants at Purchase College Roundtables
Participants at Purchase College Roundtables

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Haiti team core group with UNDH-H Vice Rector
Haiti team core group with UNDH-H Vice Rector

Dear Supporters and friends,

In this 10th report on our project we focus on recent events concerning the earth’s climate and how that relates to Haiti, PPAF and our colleagues.  In addition to the paragraphs below and the attached materials, please see the many photos on our website at www.ppafoundation.org/gallery.html.

Note:  In Haiti right now there are street protests against the government, the shortage of petrol and the rising prices.  We are working with talented and committed Haitian colleagues.  They are suffering but continuing as best they can, and they deserve our support.

Climate is indeed the major issue of our day.  Everywhere around us, people are becoming more aware of the increasing danger to our planet from climate change.  We are coming to realize that human activity is a major driver of this and it is human actions that must limit the damage. 

In September the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, including a section on low lying islands and coasts.  The report examined the implications of climate change for employment, health, poverty, food security, budgets and investments in those areas. It highlighted the effects of current international trends and urged that more action be taken to reduce risks and create climate resiliency.  At around the same date the UN Secretary-General convened a Climate Action Summit, to open this year’s General Assembly.  Its purpose:  to advance efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so as to try to control the rise in global temperatures.

What does climate have to do with Haiti, PPAF and our colleagues?  Haiti is a small country with problems well described in that IPCC report.  In addition, severe shortage of petroleum fuel is one of the main reasons for the road blockages and anti-government demonstrations that have been growing for many months. PPAF and collaborating organizations are not large, but what we seek to create can be important to the people we work with.  As the IPCC report says, every action counts.

Haitian families’ heavy reliance on charcoal for cooking has environmental, health and economic consequences consistent with those at the global scale.  Greater public awareness and actions are needed in Haiti as elsewhere to shift to renewable sources of energy, reduce toxic emissions, and reclaim the land. 

Through the current GlobalGiving project PPAF and colleagues are advancing solar and biogas cooking and biodigester fertilizer at the Université Notre Dame d’Haiti at Hinche (UNDH-H) and elsewhere in Haiti, promoting youthful entrepreneurship for baking and sewing at the Art Creation Foundation for Children in Jacmel, and conducting advocacy at the United Nations and elsewhere in the USA.

PPAF and colleagues were glad to see the Vice Rector of Université Notre Dame d’Haiti-Hinche (UNDH-H) when he visited New York, attended an annual get-together of friends of Solar Cookers International, and joined Haiti team members in a solar and biogas-cooked lunch at the farm of a collaborator.   We discussed the team’s first year experiences in the course we had initiated at Hinche, and future plans for field work and for a new round of classes.   

In Jacmel the baking and sewing classes of the Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC) Young Entrepreneurs program have shown very good progress.  Accordingly PPAF has renewed its support for a second round of 20 weeks starting in October.  This includes a second level of training for the five students in the sewing class and a new group of six students in the baking class. 

Our colleague Rose (head of KDCK and consultant to UNDH-H) went for a two week assignment in Haiti to conduct monitoring and promotions.  In Hinche she worked with:  students from the course the team has supported, the faculty leader of the course, the campus cook, community members who have been using solar cookers, and with a student who had gotten a biodigester installed at his home.  She also sold Haines.1 solar cookers to several university students.  In Jacmel Rose introduced solar cooking to the baking class PPAF supports at ACFFC.  She got a warm welcome from students, the teacher and the Executive Director.  Rose showed how solar cookers function and students were able to experiment as well.

Dear friends, all these efforts rely on the support and encouragement that you continue to give to PPAF.  Your donations are making good work possible.  Thank you!

Baking class & teacher at ACFFC
Baking class & teacher at ACFFC
Rose cooking on solar oven
Rose cooking on solar oven
UNDH-H student with his own biodigester
UNDH-H student with his own biodigester

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Solar & biogas final exam -- "Eat what you cook!"
Solar & biogas final exam -- "Eat what you cook!"

Dear Supporters and friends,

We have much to report for the period mid-April to mid-July!  In addition to the paragraphs below and the attached materials, please see the many photos on our website at www.ppafoundation.org/gallery.html.

PPAF is currently engaged in the United Nations High Level Political Forum in New York City.  The dates are July 9 to 18. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2019/.   Solar Cookers International (SCI) and PPAF have an exhibition booth that is attracting a lot of attention.  Colleagues from Solar Education Project (SEP), Konbit pou Developman Commune Kote de Fer (KDCK) and Solar CITIES Biogas participate too.  All are members of the consortium for solar and biogas cooking and biodigester fertilizer in Haiti.  Moreover, they generate interest in such work worldwide. Several types of solar cookers and a model biodigester are on display.  We also show videos from the collaborators on a large TV monitor. 

The head of KDCK has just landed in Haiti for 3 weeks to review and advance the work of the consortium in Hinche, Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and her home town of Cotes de Fer.  The University Notre Dame d’Haiti at Hinche considers her as a volunteer consultant to the institution.  PPAF is covering part of the costs of her mission.  We and all consortium members will follow closely her activities and the anticipated results.

The home page of our GlobalGiving project summarizes PPAF’s responsibilities as we and collaborating organizations conduct R&D to improve lives and livelihoods through innovative fuels and cookstoves and related small business.  This includes materials and support for teaching, sponsorship and coordination for the first-ever Haitian university classes on solar and biogas, learning to make or assemble solar cookers and biodigesters, and steps toward related small business operations.  Students and the instructor regularly send us photos of progress.  A report on the second semester is coming soon.

Beyond this, at the Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC), in Jacmel, PPAF supports classes in baking and sewing for members of its Young Entrepreneurs program.   These tie back to PPAF’s concern to improve ways of cooking and to develop employable skills especially among teenage girls.  We have also engaged a talented ACFFC graduate to send us photos of the classes every week.   

Here in New York, where some consortium members are based, PPAF has reached out to advance the GlobalGiving project, and solar and biogas generally.  We participated in Haiti Flag Day celebrations at the Haiti Permanent Mission of Haiti to the UN.  We plan to install a biodigester at a tree nursery of a Haitian farmers association.  We are making connections for involvement in a Haitian arts and culture celebration to take place this fall at Purchase College of the State University of New York.  We participated and promoted photos from a solar-cooked picnic.  The food was prepared in 6 different solar cookers, and we taped an interview in Creole with the organizer.  Most recently, to assist discussions with visitors at the current UN conference, we prepared a picture book of the work at Hinche and a video we helped prepare earlier on building a biodigester in Haiti.     

Dear friends, PPAF and collaborators are advancing with important work.  Your donations are making this possible.  Thank you for your support!

Setting up several solar cookers
Setting up several solar cookers
The parabolic cooker is big, hot  & fast!
The parabolic cooker is big, hot & fast!
Biogas burners ready to cook
Biogas burners ready to cook

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Some of the 55 participants
Some of the 55 participants

Dear Supporters and friends,

PPAF and the UNA-USA Southern NY State Division convened the very successful seminar “Innovative Programs in Haiti” on April 10. We held it at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice in Manhattan, the new home of the UN Foundation and UNA-USA in New York.  Ford is itself famous for program and architectural innovation. 

Some 55 attendees welcomed the speakers and participated in the Q&A.   Jocelyn McCalla (Haitian-Americans United for Progress) offered remarks on politics and development in Haiti; George Garland (HEART in Haiti School) spoke of the Haiti Education And Resource Team (HEART) School as a model of excellence for sustainable education; Hugh Locke (Smallholder Farmers Alliance) described how the Timberland Company is partnering on an initiative to reintroduce cotton farming to Haiti; Kathy Elisca Clermont (Fordham University) showed how women’s empowerment is advancing through solidarity groups to prevent violence against women & promote non-farm earnings; Alan Bigelow (Solar Cookers International) discussed SCI’s collaboration in Haiti to support and promote solar cooking as an innovative approach for clean and sustainable cooking. 

David Stillman (PPAF) moderated the event and illustrated the value of teamwork by several collaborating organizations to promote solar and biogas cooking in a first-ever university course and at community level in Haiti.

Participants at the session enjoyed the opportunity for commentary and networking. Many new contacts were made.  Remarks by the Purchase College SUNY provost and its international programs dean were a highlight, as they described plans for the (T)HERE global festival to take place in November and focus on Haitian arts, culture and ideas. We also learned about the work of the medical humanitarian organization Hands Up for Haiti, and others with programs active in Haiti

Many thanks to Michele Voltaire Marcelin, Jennifer Gasser and Rose Bazile for the wonderful photos they took and to intern Emma Filippi Pioppi for videos.  Some photos and the PPAF presentation are included here.  A full set of photos and videos appear on the PPAF website at www.ppafoundation.org/gallery--videos.html.

Seminar participants with active programs in Haiti
Seminar participants with active programs in Haiti
Panel of speakers with PPAF moderator
Panel of speakers with PPAF moderator
A participant raises a question
A participant raises a question

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Organization Information

Public-Private Alliance Foundation

Location: Hastings on Hudson, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ppafoundation
Project Leader:
David Stillman
Hastings on Hudson, NY United States
$25,075 raised of $30,000 goal
 
211 donations
$4,925 to go
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