Right across the road from where I’m helping build this operations base is Haiti’s first rural university. A fantastic organization called Association des Paysans de Fondwa has established this university over the last several years. Students from rural Haiti come to this beautiful place to learn many subjects including economics, languages and sciences. APF runs as a co-op, with different business holdings in the Tom Gateau region fulfilling multiple purposes including subsidizing the university’s operations and providing practical experience and spending money for the students which work there. One of my fellow All-Hands volunteers, the fantastic Alaina, a teacher from Boston, is leaving All-Hands to work with APF to establish a functioning bakery out of a dusty old building that happens to have a kick ass oven. She will kick start the operation, employing a number of students who are interested in learning about the baking business. Sixty percent of those employed will be women as they generally have a more difficult time finding gainful employment.
There is an award-winning documentary by the name of Road to Fondwa which discusses some of the issues facing Haiti, and highlights the gains sought by this university. I have only had time to watch the preview, but I encourage you to watch the entire 40 minute documentary. Here it is: