In 2017 Dis-Rupt established an ambitious project in LeVeque, a rural area on Haiti’s Northeast coast that includes a community of 300 deaf residents. The objective of this project is to work with LeVeque’s deaf residents to address critical infrastructure deficiencies and to jump-start small scale enterprise initiatives. The long-term goal is to create a vibrant, self-sufficient community that substantially improves their quality of life.
Key project initiatives
To realize this goal, several initiatives that address infrastructure deficiencies and jump-start micro-enterprise are planned or already underway.
Metal Entrance Doors (Project underway). The deaf community occupies about 150 huts made from concrete blocks with corrugated metal roofs, but with no electricity or running water. Very few huts have secure entryway doors. As a result, theft is a major problem, especially at night when residents can neither see nor hear intruders. Dis-Rupt Design has secured funding to purchase a portable welding machine and to train two deaf residents to fabricate and install metal doors. This approach of equipping and training residents to perform key tasks within their own community not only addresses key infrastructure and security needs, but also jump-starts micro-enterprise efforts. We currently seek contributors to purchase doors to install on residents’ huts. The cost to fabricate and install these are approximately $175 (USD) each.
Clean Water (planned). The community occupies low-lying land close to the ocean and repeated efforts to drill fresh-water wells on the property have failed. Other solutions are needed, such as purchasing supplies from others and storing water in tanks. We are currently looking for partners in this effort. Please contact us if you are interested in partnering.
Local Transportation (planned). With very few exceptions residents have no means of transportation to access markets and basic services or to support an enterprise. Phase two of our implementation plan includes purchasing several motorcycles to enable transport for basic needs and to develop an additional employment opportunities for the community.
Solar Power (planned). This appears to be the most practical and cost-effective way to address some of their basic energy needs for lighting and other purposes. Light is especially important for the deaf Solar powered outdoor lighting is also a critical safety need, but also expensive. It costs approximately $500 (USD) to enable a house to have enough power to charge mobile phones and computers and have an hour or two of light in the evening. We are collecting donations earmarked towards solar solutions.
Micro-Enterprise Cooperative (project underway). The success of each micro-enterprise depends on outfitting the community with the skills necessary to achieve that success. We bring in experts from across the world to help participants understand how to best position their micro-enterprise for success. A 13-person steering committee oversees each micro-enterprise. The committee is responsible for overseeing each micro-enterprise and determining how to donate a percentage of funds that each micro-enterprise must give back to the community to help with development. This cooperative is vital in creating a system of checks and balances which ensures that each benefactor succeeds. They also help determine which additional Micro-Enterprises to develop, based on feasibility and community need.