Community Engagement

Transformation must come from within.

At COFHED, we know we aren’t the only solution, which is why we’re dedicated to providing southern Haitian communities the tools they need to be successful.

Through direct community engagement, we help local residents and leaders to actively participate in achieving sustainable change. We facilitate a process whereby we engage the entire community to:

  • Organize their knowledge
  • Identify resources, assets and existing community skills
  • Articulate the social, spiritual, economic and environmental issues of community life that contribute to poverty
  • Actively participate in developing strategies to understand barriers and formulate solutions
  • Take action to achieve sustainable change

What COFHED does not do:

  • Bring our own agenda as to what needs to be done and how it should be done
  • Manage/run community identified priorities
  • Hold the community to our own timetables for outcomes
  • Take a paternalistic top-down approach in dealing with the community

Our commitment to these principles means that sometimes we need to hold our tongue or step aside so that we do not hinder the process of change that the community is bringing about on their own accord.  There can be a tendency for any community accustomed to dependency to rely totally on outside organizations as directors or executors.  Our goal through community-led development is to achieve attitude and behavioral change through education and empowerment.  The community should be in the driver’s seat as they move toward change.  We firmly believe this is the only way to achieve long-lasting transformation from poverty to self-sufficiency.

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