The Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI) is hosting a Forum on Haiti on May 9th and 10th to discuss the work of the various organizations from Quebec and Canada that are working on post-earthquake reconstruction and development projects in Haiti. The AQOCI is bringing these actors together to dialogue on lessons learned from the field, and to ensure that Haitians are the ones guiding the process.
On May 9th, there is a public panel featuring many guests from Quebec and Haiti to discuss the progress of interventions two years later. Development and Peace has invited Chenet Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of the organization ITECA, to participate in the discussion.
ITECA is a training and support organization for Haitian small-scale farmers, and a long-standing partner of Development and Peace. Although ITECA works all across Haiti, it has its agricultural training centre in Gressier, which was at the epicenter of the earthquake of January 12th, 2010. Even as employees of ITECA were facing this catastrophe within their own lives, they rallied to come to the aid of people in the community of Gressier. They helped set up tents on the grounds of ITECA, prepared meals, and gave support in general to all those who lost their homes. Passionate and effusive, Chenet became a strong advocate for his community in this difficult moment, especially the most poor and vulnerable members.
In partnership with Development and Peace, ITECA is piloting a housing project, where the community has been very involved in the planning and rebuilding of their houses. Eventually, more than 500 houses will be built in the community.
Chenet’s presence at the conference will undoubtedly bring an important perspective on the development of Haiti. He will bring forward the concerns and needs of his community and ensure that their voices are always heard and respected in shaping the future of their country.