In Haiti, many poor and vulnerable families, most of which live in rural communities, lack access to social services, hospitals, and the necessary medical attention. However, the Kore Fanmi project, launched last year, has been successful in providing 15,000 families with increased access to basic services in the Center department.

In partnership with the World Bank, the Haitian Ministry of Finance’s Fund for Economic & Social Justice, and World Vision, the project trains local members of the community as Household Development Agents (HDAs), who then work towards connecting families with the social services they need the most. The project is helping families gain access to fundamental services such as education, vaccines, and latrines.

By training members of communities to be social workers, these individuals also benefit from the program; Dr. Germanite Phanord, the project manager at of the Economic and Social Assistance Fund, said, “This is a social protection program where a model is tested to determine if sectors workers can be transformed into social workers”.  After HDAs are trained, they become responsible for 100 families, for which they must prepare a plan, which is based on 28 life goals, such as, “the family must use latrines.” By providing these services, Kore Fanmi is focusing on helping families restore and fulfill their human rights.

In addition, the Kore Fanmi project aims to connect with international agencies and nongovernmental organizations so that they can create a common operational strategy for coordinated and decentralized delivery of basic services. By improving this aspect of public administration, an inter-organizational coordination will allow a HDA to refer a vulnerable family to another organization in their commune, who can provide the relevant medical, food or social program required.

The structure and training program of the Kore Fanmi project are both realistic and sustainable; the grass roots, community approach is aiding rural communities to change attitudes towards family planning, treated water and education.

– Chloe Isacke
Source: World Bank, Partners in Health
Photo: Washington Post