Over the past three decades, Father Joseph has been providing rural Haitians with the motivation and tools they need to create wealth in their communities and to lift themselves out of poverty. He is best known as the founder of Fonkoze, Haiti’s largest micro-finance institution with 45 branches, 1,000 Haitian employees, 200,000 depositors, 62,000 loans in the hands of the poor, and millions in assets.
But even before the birth and miraculous growth of Fonkoze, Father Joseph was busy in the beloved community of his birth – Fondwa, Haiti. In 1988, Father Joseph founded the Asosyasyon Peyizan Fondwa (Association of the Peasants of Fondwa/APF Haiti) which now boasts a primary and secondary school serving some 700 students, an orphanage, a community radio station, programs in renewable energy, water purification, reforestation and agriculture and so much more. At the 200th anniversary of Haiti’s independence, APF Haiti established the University of Fondwa (UNIF), Haiti’s only accredited rural university.
Facing what others would consider insurmountable odds, whether economic, political or environmental—including the devastating earthquake of 2010, whose epicenter was very close to Fondwa—he, together with a growing team of collaborators, has persevered, turning challenge and struggle into progress and victory.
One of the unique characteristics of Father Joseph’s various undertakings has been the grassroots nature of the impulse and related processes. Far from the often-paternalistic approach taken by well-meaning NGOs, these ventures have blossomed from the ground up: undertakings by and for the very people whose lives are now being transformed.
Since the beginnings of these efforts, much assistance has flowed to these programs, whether in the form of human or financial resources, from Europe, the United States and beyond. Now, resources are fast coalescing.
The Raising Haiti Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable entity has been created in order to dramatically increase awareness of this extraordinary and unique Haitian-born enterprise and to allow US donors to receive full charitable deductions for contributing to an array of promising grassroots programs.
A powerful new documentary, ‘Father Joseph’ is available for sale or streaming on Netflix, The documentary is the centerpiece of an array of tools for use by a growing community of Advocates inspired to make a difference by bringing the message of this salutary and healing enterprise to others through screening and “action-oriented” conversations in homes, on college campuses and community venues throughout the land.
Now, you can join us in our “many making small efforts” approach to help bring awareness to and ensure the vital and ongoing success of these important grassroots endeavors which hold significant transformative promise for all of Haiti.
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phone: (202) 800-7077
Raising Haiti Foundation is an authorized business name for Association of the Peasants of Fondwa, USA Inc., a District of Columbia 501(c)3 charitable entity.