1965: Founded in India in 1965, AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) ’ s original objective was to help meet the needs of victims of disasters that regularly hit the Indian sub-continent. Over the years, AMURT has established teams in eighty countries, creating a network that can meet development and disaster needs almost anywhere in the world. 1973: AMURT (USA) was established in 1973 and incorporated in 1985. In the same year we broadened our goals to include long-term development. 1975: AMURTEL was formed in 1975 as a sister organization to respond specifically to the problems faced by women and children in their struggle to develop. AMURTEL is managed by women and initiates programs that raise the standard of health and education of women and their children. 1982: AMURT/EL started operations in Haiti in 1982 with an education program – a class of 40 students meeting under a mango tree in Port-au-Prince. Between 1982 and 2003, AMURT/EL focused primarily on providing accessible and affordable education and medical care programs in the Port au Prince slums of Boudon and Cite O ’ Kai. 2004: In the middle of 2004, AMURT – Haiti expanded our work to Northwest Haiti in the Artibonite Commune of Anse Rouge. (more on next slide)
2004: Hurricane Jeanne In the middle of 2004, AMURT – Haiti expanded our work to Northwest Haiti in the Artibonite Department of Anse Rouge. Initially, our presence in Anse Rouge came as a response to Hurricane Jeanne and its devastating effects on the community. The Northwest has long been the most impoverished area in Haiti, but the situation was even more desperate after the hurricane. Tidal surges wrecked fishing boats and salt basins, while flooding and landslides ruined crops. In one fell swoop, Hurricane Jeanne eliminated the people ’ s meager source of livelihood and left many homeless. For eight months, AMURT – Haiti facilitated a disaster relief operation focusing on nutrition (a canteen program for 2,800 children and the elderly in 8 villages), nutritional education, food security, shelter and road reconstruction, and kids programs targeting posttraumatic stress disorders in the communities.
BEFORE: Many women and children would walk more than 2 hours to collect water for their daily bathing, eating and drinking.
AFTER: Now families can gather water right IN their communities.
These roads helped to decrease the isolation of individual communities, to enable communities to work cooperatively towards common goals, and increase opportunities for economic growth.
Haiti is currently 99% deforested. This deforestation has had devastating affects on ALL aspects of community living and development. As AMURT transitioned from relief to empowerment, planting trees was a natural place to start.
Since that time, AMURT has grown to employ 50 staff, and has developed projects in five main areas. AMURT - Haiti has become a dynamic force for change in Northwest Haiti.
Basic tenants of PROUT: Every human being has the right to nourishment, accommodation, medical care, clothing and education. The resources of the earth should be used in a just and appropriate way to meet those needs, while at the same time maintaining the fragile natural balance on the planet. Every human being regardless of race, creed, gender, color or social status is a dignified member of the human family and should be treated with understanding and respect. No one is insignificant, and each deserves special attention and recognition. It is only by showing respect for women, and ensuring their integration and active participation in the development process, that a harmonious growth of the family, community and society as a whole can be achieved. Women should be actively encouraged to enter the decision-making process, and all programs should turn special attention to gender issues and needs. Development is a balanced and integrated process that maintains equilibrium between industry and the environment, urban and rural growth, human needs and available resources. Development should lessen the gap between rich and poor and provide opportunities for all. It should involve the communities it affects in every one of its stages, and it should seek to create transparency, accountability and community ownership. Appropriate development begins within the social and cultural framework of each community. It enables underprivileged communities to gain a greater degree of independence to determine their own future. It is also a necessity in order for us to find solutions to the current ecological and social crisis in the world. Development should respect the natural ecosystems of the earth so that all living beings may live in health and harmony. The freedom to express our full potential for all-round physical, intellectual and spiritual fulfillment is a fundamental right of all people.
The Department of Anse-Rouge in Northwest Haiti lacks the capacity to provide potable drinking water to the population. The majority of its residents use untreated water for bathing, cooking and, in most instances, for drinking. Water-Bourne illnesses are common. Bio-Sand filters have been proven to almost entirely remove the disease-causing organisms found in water.
Haiti has the highest general mortality rate, the highest infant and maternal mortality rate, the highest rate of chronic and acute malnutrition, and the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Western Hemisphere. Deteriorating facilities, untrained staff, and lack of essential supplies and medicines limit the ability of the existing clinics in Northwest Haiti to provide quality primary health services for the population. AMURT - Haiti ’ s Community Health Project goal is to provide a model of integrated health care managed by the local communities, with an emphasis on preventive care and education.
The Department of Anse Rouge suffers many devastating consequences of environmental degradation: massive soil erosion, flash flooding, loss of animal and bird habitat, desertification, and low crop yields. Throughout Haiti, the land is only 1.25% forested because of prolonged and extensive deforestation. The goal of AMURT ’ s Environmental Project is to seek sustainable solutions for poverty reduction and environmental restoration through an integrated, community-based, participatory approach that strengthens the capacity of local institutions and empowers individuals .
A lack of resources and teacher training in Northwest Haiti has resulted in an educational void so severe that education has become one of the primarily stumbling blocks in front of the advancement of its people and culture. The schools in the area are confronted with tremendous needs including poor infrastructure, insufficient educational materials, lack of equipment, and an inability to pay teachers and directors. Many teachers in the region lack sufficient training and are working the majority of the time as volunteers.
Traditional salt production is one of the main sources of income for more than 2,500 families in Northwest Haiti. Compared to the modern methods of solar salt production practiced in most countries, the traditional salt harvesting in Haiti is archaic, inefficient, and labor intensive. It is an outdated means of salt production that is slowly losing ground to the merciless competition from big international companies offering cheaper and cleaner iodized salt. The future of salt production in Haiti might depend on whether the local communities are capable of initiating and sustaining a collective vision, a balance between common and individual interest, and consistent leadership. Salt production as an effective source of income in Northwest Haiti may become obsolete if the local salt producers, their local and national government representatives, and the organizations coming to their assistance fail to work together in establishing viable mechanisms for efficient salt production and transformation.
International volunteers make the work of AMURT – Haiti possible, as they assist us to create, develop and implement our projects. In turn, AMURT – Haiti seeks to provide volunteers with a variety of experiences to enrich their personal and professional growth. Our hope is that all volunteer experiences at AMURT will be mutually beneficial: that our volunteers will have an amazing experience and their efforts will truly benefit this community.
Amurt Haiti Presentation
AMURT - Haiti FROM DISASTER RELIEF TO COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT
A MURT - Haiti AMURT – Haiti is a professional volunteer NGO active in community empowerment and sustainable development programs in the Northwest of Haiti.
O UR MISSION AMURT – Haiti ’ s mission is to seek sustainable solutions for poverty reduction and environmental restoration through an integrated, community-based, participatory approach that strengthens the capacity of local institutions and individuals. " Let everybody be happy; let everybody be free from all physical or psychic ailments; let everybody see the bright side of everything; let nobody be forced to undergo any trouble under pressure of circumstances. " P.R. Sarkar Founder of AMURT
O UR VISION COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT INNOVATION INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT SUSTAINABILITY
O UR LOCATION The AMURT – Haiti works in the Northwestern part of Haiti, in the District of Anse Rouge. Northwest Haiti is the most isolated, impoverished, and neglected region in the country.
O UR HISTORY 1965 1973 1975 2004 1982 AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) AMURT (USA) AMURTEL AMURT in Haiti AMURT - Haiti (NW Artibonite)
T RANSITION OF 2005 In 2005, AMURT - Haiti began transitioning from disaster relief to community empowerment. Our first community initiatives focused on water, roads, and trees. WATER <ul><li>Together with the community, AMURT transformed the </li></ul><ul><li>water systems of the area. Our water infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>projects included: </li></ul><ul><li>Rehabilitation of current water systems throughout the commune. </li></ul><ul><li>Construction of reservoirs. </li></ul><ul><li>Installation of 21 KM of water piping. </li></ul><ul><li>Construction of 15 kiosks. </li></ul><ul><li>Construction of public bathing and washing facilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Construction of irrigation channels, road crossings, aqueducts and small reservoirs. </li></ul><ul><li>Protection of watersheds, water sources and irrigation routes. </li></ul><ul><li>Construction of 8 village water systems. </li></ul><ul><li>During this time, we also began our first Bio-Sand Water </li></ul><ul><li>Filter project, empowering families to make this new water </li></ul><ul><li>safe for drinking and cooking. </li></ul>
T RANSITION OF 2005 AMURT constructed 6 KM of new road and rehabilitated 12 KM of existing roads. ROADS
T RANSITION OF 2005 Together with local community committees, AMURT facilitated the planting of 70,000 trees between 2005 - 2007. NEW TREES
FROM DISASTER RELIEF… TO COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT!
C URRENT PROJECTS AMURT is currently working in five project areas: BIO-SAND WATER FILTERS COMMUNITY HEALTH ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRATED EDUCATION SALT PRODUCTION COOPERATIVES
P ROUT AMURT – Haiti seeks to establish a balanced social and economic model of development upon the tenets of PROUT, the Progressive Utilization Theory. Propounded in India in 1959 by P.R. Sarkar , I ts basic tenets have increasingly provided guidance and structure to AMURT ’ s community empowerment and self-sufficiency philosophy. “ No two things of this world are alike so I don’t suggest recasting everything into one mold. Still, for the sake of humanism, for the sake of fair justice, equitable distribution of the resources of the universe is indispensable and the co-ownership of the world’s resources is the birth-right of every individual.” - P.R. Sarkar, Founder of PROUT
B IO-SAND WATER FILTERS <ul><li>The Bio-Sand Water Filter Project: </li></ul><ul><li>Constructs, delivers and installs Bio-Sand Water Filters in close collaboration with local committees in 45 villages in Northwest Haiti. </li></ul><ul><li>Educates community members on filter use and maintenance. </li></ul><ul><li>Trains and oversees a network of community filter agents leading hygiene education classes, maintaining filters, and networking among filter users. </li></ul>CLEAN WATER
C OMMUNITY HEALTH <ul><li>The Community Health Project: </li></ul><ul><li>Builds, rehabilitates and reinforces health clinics and health services in the Commune. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides staff, medicines and supplies for three clinics, seeking to establish a strong base for clinic self-sufficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>Recruits, trains and oversees nine community health agents providing home care and health education. </li></ul><ul><li>Trains and supports a network of health volunteers who are actively involved in disease prevention and education campaigns led by the community agents and staff. </li></ul>HEALTHY FAMILIES
E NVIRONMENTAL <ul><li>The Environmental Project: </li></ul><ul><li>Oversees eight school tree nurseries and vegetable gardens. </li></ul><ul><li>Manages the construction and distribution of Rocket (fuel-efficient) Stoves. </li></ul><ul><li>Stabilizes ravines through terraces and dry masonry walls, and facilitates community-managed soil conservation campaigns following the Sloping Agriculture Land Technology (SALT) method. </li></ul><ul><li>Manages a mangrove nursery and rehabilitates mangrove forests on the coast. </li></ul><ul><li>Oversees eight community managed tree nurseries. </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates the planting of micro-forests and demonstration parcels. </li></ul><ul><li>Organizes agriculturally based seminars for community leaders. </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinates and agriculture demonstration and training center in the village of Ti Plas. </li></ul><ul><li>Conducts environment education programs in nine of the AMURT supported schools. </li></ul>RESTORATION
I NTEGRATED EDUCATION <ul><li>The Integrated Education Project: </li></ul><ul><li>Builds and rehabilitates schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides school equipment, furniture and supplies to ten schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Enriches current curriculum and introduces integrated education methods. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides training and support to local teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Established the Center for Neo-Humanist Education (CENEOH) in Sous Chod to provide increased training for teachers and community leaders, as well as a range of activities to the surrounding community. </li></ul>HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
S ALT PRODUCTION COOPERATIVES <ul><li>The Salt Production Cooperatives Project: </li></ul><ul><li>Rehabilitated 60 traditional salt basins and 3KM of feeding channels. </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes model modern salt production facilities along the cooperative principles of PROUT (Progressive Utilization Theory), seeking to increase the production of pure, iodizable sea salt and invest the revenues in local development schemes. </li></ul><ul><li>Creates Salt Producer Associations, and provides training sessions and forums on cooperative principles and modernized salt production techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>Compiled a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database giving spatial and quantifiable data about the traditional salt basins in Northwest Haiti. </li></ul>INNOVATIVE COOPERATION
<ul><ul><ul><li>ACDI (Canadian International Development Agency) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative Gifts International </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lichtenstein International Development Agency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Micronutrient Initiative </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trees Water People </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>United Nations, MINUSTAH </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>World Food Program </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o ACDI (Canadian International Development Agency) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o CRS-Haiti (Catholic Relief Services) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lichtenstein International Development Agency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Micronutrient Initiative (MI) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o Trees Water People </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o USAID (US Agency for International Development) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o World Food Program </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o CRS-Haiti (Catholic Relief Services) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o The Gordon Sato Foundation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o Swedish International Development Agency (FORUM/SYD) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o USAID (US Agency for International Development) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>o World Food Program </li></ul></ul></ul>F UNDING PARTNERS 2008 2007 2006 "You (AMURT) are really investing in the communities, the results of your work says it all, and talking to the people in the field shows that you are very well accepted in the area. ” - World Food Program
T ESTIMONIAL <ul><li>"After the Hurricane life became even harder. We had no food, no nothing. The rains took all of our gardens away. And then these white people came, there were Haitians with them too, yes. AMURT. And they took care of us when no one even came to check on us, right then and there. They did with us these kitchens, serving hot meals for months on end. And then they gave us seeds, I still have the harvests that started with the seeds from that time. And they didn't leave, they stayed, and they ’ re still here. The village now has water because of them, and I hear that now they'll be in schools too. They doing good, and they helped me with the house once, fixing the roof up. God sent them, really." </li></ul>Madam Onel, 74 years old Point-des-Mangles
J OIN US! “ Adopt A…” Wish List AMURT – Haiti is supported by foundations, institutions and individuals who believe in the work we are all doing here together. Our projects would not be possible without their generous support. The efforts of AMURT – Haiti represent a collective of hundreds of people, living all around the world, who want to see improvements to the quality of life for the people of Northwest Haiti. Water filter, grove of fruit trees or a teacher ’ s salary. Visit www.amurt.us to learn more! You ’ ll see what a tangible difference your gift can make! AMURT is also seeking in-kind donations. A wish list of practical items is listed on our website. Visit www.amurthaiti.org to learn more about how you can give an in-kind donation to AMURT-Haiti. General Donation The friends of AMURT – Haiti around the world are a creative and generous group of people. We hear of donors collecting donations for AMURT at dinner parties and bake sales – or giving donations in honor of loved ones as birthday or holiday gifts. If you are interested in supporting the work of AMURT – Haiti with a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.amurthaiti.org and click on “ on-line donation ” . Become an AMURT - Haiti DONOR.
V OLUNTEER <ul><li>AMURT Volunteers: </li></ul><ul><li>Manage projects </li></ul><ul><li>Train AMURT staff </li></ul><ul><li>Assist in the AMURT office </li></ul><ul><li>Create curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Plant gardens </li></ul><ul><li>… .and much, much more! </li></ul><ul><li>We have come to believe that when we unite the </li></ul><ul><li>local community, AMURT staff and volunteers, no </li></ul><ul><li>force can stop the power of our creative collective </li></ul><ul><li>mind and our desire for self-realization and service for </li></ul><ul><li>humanity. We hope you will consider joining us in our </li></ul><ul><li>effort. Visit www.amurthaiti.org for additional </li></ul><ul><li>information about volunteering at AMURT – Haiti </li></ul><ul><li>including a listing of our current volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>opportunities, an interested volunteer form and a </li></ul><ul><li>volunteer handbook. </li></ul>www.amurthaiti.org