AMURTEL has been a presence in Haiti for over 20 years, partnering with local people to provide a children’s home, schools, clinics, literacy programs, reforestation initiatives, micro credit finance, and women’s leadership programs. The area around our center in Bourdon, Port au Prince, was especially hit hard by the earthquake in 2010; for so many who were already struggling with overwhelming poverty, the loss of family members, homes, and jobs was especially devastating. In collaboration with the UN, we are currently working with families in seven camps in this area for individuals and families displaced by the earthquake.
About eight years ago, AMURTEL opened a school in Anse a Pitre, a village close to the Dominican Republic border. In 2011 we expanded our work there to include an economic empowerment programs for women in the greatest need.
There are seven amazing children under six years old living in the home, as well as four teenagers. Along with the 300 kids coming every day to our school, the free clinic held there twice a week, and the constant stream of visitors and area residents in need of help, our center in Bourdon is always bustling with activity
The AMURTEL Haiti Children’s Home is home to several babies and children who either need a permanent home or full or part time support. Many of the children who have experienced neglect or abandonment are thriving due to a loving and supportive atmosphere. Whenever possible, ties to the families of participating children are maintained and supported.
AMURTEL Haiti runs two schools in Haiti; one in Port Au Prince, the other in Anse a Pitre. Both AMSAI schools use a curriculum and educational philosophy based on Neo-Humanism–a philosophy that propagates love for all creation. The philosophy seeks to acknowledge the spiritual, mental, and physical aspects of a child through the methods of creative arts, supportive sharing circles, and yoga asanas. This educational philosophy is employed as a way of fostering compassionate caretakers and leaders in our future society.
Following the 2010 earthquake, AMURTEL was informed by women in the refugee camps that they were interested to start small businesses in order to get back on their feet. After much planning, a Microfinance project was created to support these women in that task. Currently, about 80 women are participating in using micro credit to finance a pathway to a better future.
Disaster Relief Programs
In line with our commitment to be community-based, AMURTEL began working with four local Haitian women trained as community organizers. These organizers–or animators, as they are called in Creole–work in the camps helping the women organize into committees, performing regular needs assessments, and partnering with the camp leaders to determine relevant interventions. These four animators were so inspired by their work with AMURTEL that they helped to create a micro finance program to create economic opportunities for the women in the camps. The creation of the finance organization began with much planning and research into best practices. MIKFAB (Micro Kredi Fanm-yo Viktim AMURTEL) invites participating women to work in groups of six so each can support the others. We provide training in business skills and non-violent communication to assist the women in being successful in their endeavors. Currently, about 80 women are participating in using micro credit to finance a pathway to a more sustainable future. This program has been successful; so far we have 100% repayment from all participants. The local women involved and our volunteers seek to expand MIKFAB and continue to invest in the economic sovereignty of Haitians. To contribute financially to this project, please access the ‘Donate’ tab below.