What I wish I knew then about the nonprofit sector in Haiti than what I know now.

It seems as if I’m always angry with the nonprofit sector in Haiti. To be honest, I am more disappointed than angry. I find it hard to believe that not everyone cares. This is a list of what I wish I had known.

  1. There is a misconception of registration in Haiti as well as within the Haitian diaspora. Yes, having 501(c)(3) status is great; however, not doing your research and legalizing yourself in Haiti takes away from your mission.
  2. The Haitian government has no background in the nonprofit sector and the policy they follow dates back twenty-eight years ago. Whoever is handling the nonprofit sector lacks the proper education of the nonprofit sector.
  3. It is quicker to open a nonprofit than a business. This is why Haiti will remain a charity case.
  4. Corruption runs deep in this sector. Based on a 1989 decree, the nonprofit sector is a piggy-bank for corrupt government officials.
  5. Having worked for a nonprofit in Haiti on your resume is like receiving a gold medal for doing nothing but it will open the right doors in a developed nation.
  6. Seventy percent of missionary workers that go to “help” are actually having a ball at a lounge, drinking while driving, and posting pictures on their social medias to prove that they are helping.
  7. Those who wish to do good are psychopaths in disguise…doing good to feel better about themselves.
  8. Religious nonprofit organizations dominate the nonprofit sector in Haiti because of the country’s history.
  9. Local nonprofit organizations do not know how to manage their organization in order  to have impact; thus there is a nature of bureaucracy where the ones who don’t benefit are the communities who are the greatest in need.
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A City of Vendors

The informal sector is here to stay! Yes, informality exists in every corner of the world, from the streets of New York to the streets of Nairobi. Haiti should not be excluded from this sector nor should Haiti turn a blind eye to the most vulnerable sector. Seventy percent of small businesses created in Haiti in the last 50 years are informal. Because of the high unemployment rate in most districts and cities, many residents, mostly women, depend on street vending to support their family, send children to school, build a house, or only to feed their kids. This practice has been part of the culture for generations, but only a few have shown interest to understand how it works and measure its contribution to the formal economy. Why study informal sector in Haiti? To be honest, there’s no easy answer to this question; nevertheless, to create sustainable solutions we should start by understanding how the different sectors of the economy work. Street vending is not one that can be left out of the equation. Continue reading “A City of Vendors”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Six)

Chapter 6-Transitional Provisions

Highlights

Article 34

  •  All organizations operating in the field of development as Organizations Non-Governmental Development Assistance (NGOs) without being formally recognized as such should be complete within a period of six (6) months formalities under Article 8 of this Decree.
  • After this period, they will be hit with bans to operate in the country at the behest of the Ministry of Interior and National Defense, the report of the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation.

Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Six)”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Five)

Chapter 5The Withdrawal of Recognition and Other Sanctions

Highlights

Article 30

  • The withdrawal of recognition shall be carried out by the bodies referred to in Article 6 of present Decree on a reasoned report of the Coordination Unit for NGO Activities.
  • Notice will be given by press published in the Official Journal of the Republic.

Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Five)”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Four)

Chapter 4Powers and Duties of Non-Governmental Development Assistance

Highlights

Article 23

  • NGOs allowed to operate in Haiti receive the following benefits:
    • Tax exemption status
    • Organization’s duty-free import of any property, donations, and equipment required for the exclusive achievement of their objectives.
    • The customs duty on personal effects of foreign-related organization and authorized to work in the country.

Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Four)”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Three)

Chapter 3Supervision and Coordination of Non-Governmental Development Assistance

Problematic/Need for Reform

Article 16 (PS ONLY MENTIONED THE PROBLEMATIC SECTION OF ARTICLE 16; PLEASE VIEW THE COMPLETE LIST ON MPCE)

The Coordination Unit of NGO activities guides and coordinates the activities of NGOs across the country. Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Three)”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Two)

Chapter 2Status and Recognition of Non-Governmental Development Assistance Highlights

Article 6

  • Recognition of the status of Non-Governmental Organizations Development Assistance is the joint responsibility of the Ministries of Planning and External Cooperation, the Interior and National Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Worship
  • This recognition is enshrined in an Official act signed jointly by the holders of the above-mentioned bodies, which act is published in the form of a statement in the Official Journal of the Republic and that the Statutes of the NGO concerned.

Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Two)”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part One)

How are nonprofits recognized in Haiti? To understand the decree which was written September 14, 1989, for nonprofit organizations, we must dissect the statute. To begin, in 1989 Haiti was under a  Human Rights Watch and Prosper Avril took office. I strongly believe that the decree needs to be reformed due to the fact that this sector has evolved over the past twenty-eight years. Most recently, 257 nonprofits were given noticed to comply with the Haitian government thanks to Article 32 or risk being banned from operating in Haiti.  Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part One)”

Loading Haitian Diaspora

Historically, the relationship between the Haitian diaspora and the Haitian government has been filled with difficulties and suspicion. Given the country’s high political instability, the diaspora has largely refrained from employing its much-needed skills in Haiti. The Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad wants skill laborers to move back to Haiti. However, the government has passed laws against the Haitian diaspora such as the 10,000 gourdes Tax as well as the LGBT community that exists within our community. So how is the Haitian government trying to work with the Haitian diaspora?

What will make you (A Haitian Diaspora) move back to Haiti?