Collaboration, transparency, accountability, diversity, and environmental integrity.
Partners in Progress works with rural based organizations in Haiti to strengthen local cultural, social, and environmental assets for building sustainable community.
Rural communities in Haiti are places where people want to live and raise a family; where neighbors work with common cause to ensure the health and well being of people and the environment and to continuously imagine and shape a prosperous, hope-filled future.
Partners in Progress (“PIP”) is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization founded in 1999 by the Pittsburgh Haiti Solidarity Committee to promote sustainable rural development in Haiti.
Partners in Progress addresses the issue of limited opportunities and resources for self-determination and the dependency this creates on external development agendas and resources. The Haitian government provides almost no support for rural communities that would enable them to develop skills and resources for advancing their own development priorities. Agricultural extension, for example, has virtually ceased. Most rural development support comes from NGO or faith-based organizations, usually in the form of short trainings in technologies that are prioritized from outside. Though well meaning, this typically results in initiatives that are poorly suited to community needs.
PIP’s initial focus was to link community organizations, primarily in the region of Fondwa, with technical expertise and funding to support health care, education and economic development. We learned that this type of support was not having lasting impact or building the capabilities of communities to become self-sufficient. Decision-making about development priorities were made by a select few and therefore did not lead to growth and innovation. In order to promote more inclusive decision making and to address the capacity building needs of our partners in community organizing and project planning and management, PIP began working more as a collaborative partner in sustainable development initiatives.
Our core values and beliefs guide everything we do, large and small. We:
For PIP, sustainable community development is that which:
- Takes an integrated approach to meeting basic needs that also works to address systemic challenges facing rural communities
- Is inclusive and promotes equity and social justice
- Improves the health of the environment (soil, plant and animal life, air, water) for future generations
- Generates local wealth, while promoting equitable distribution of resources
- Depends and builds on local knowledge, resources, and innovation to the greatest extent possible
- Builds community capacity for self organizing, imagining, and developing the resources needed to realize a shared vision of the future
- Fosters resiliency and self-reliance
What does sustainable community look like?
- Believe in the inherent right of all peoples to clean air, water, land and other resources necessary to meet their basic needs and live with dignity;
- Work to reclaim and revitalize the knowledge, values, and traditions of our ancestors that can lead to more sustainable outcomes;
- Trust in the power of communities to create innovative solutions to the problems they face;
- Believe that we should be “inclusive” in our work and that everyone has something to contribute and teach;
- Consider the implications of our decisions on future generations; and
- Recognize our interdependency with each other and the rest of creation.
Meet the Team
Passionate and dedicated to improving conditions for rural Haiti, our core team brings with them an enormous range of talent, with diverse backgrounds and skill sets to help make a lasting, positive impact. Additionally, we work with some of the best and brightest leaders in the sustainable development field. Meet the people who work as Partners in Progress staff and associates, serve on the Board of Directors, or otherwise represent some of our partners in progress.
Staff and Consultants
Board of Directors
In Minnesota Harriet worked with Redeemer Lutheran Church as Executive Assistant in Minneapolis, MN, currently a Host at Redeemer Center for Life a community service space, and a Community garden coordinator in Minneapolis, MN. She is a member of the council at Redeemer Lutheran Church She is actively involved in community organizing at EJAM (Environmental Justice Advocate of Minnesota). Harriet advocates for peaceful resolutions and is a peace educator, trainer, facilitator, activist and inspirational public speaker.
In her life-long campaign for woman suffrage, Harriet started a community garden, and a diverse women quilting project (The Healing Threads) to enable stressed women find peaceful creative community of peace. While living in Uganda, Harriet initiated and supported orphans of war and HIV/AIDS victims by introducing them to sewing and other sustainable creative activities to give them hope and a feeling of self-worth.
In Minnesota she established and raised awareness of healthy eating and healthy relationship and beautiful environment among the low income community and inspired individuals. Inspires community leaders to embrace solutions and not concentrate on conflicts or problems with conceptions of eliminating “silent killer” – unhealthy eating, “environment” and “environmentalism” across racial, cultural, and socio-economic differences; rural environmental justice; radical environmental and social justice movements.
In Minnesota, Harriet has initiated projects that provide healing that include a community vegetable garden and a healing Thread Project. On June 26, 2010 she spoke at the Commemoration of the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. In 2009 She spoke at the Feminist Panel to discuss “Realities of Refugee Women in Minnesota Today” at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN. In 2010 Harriet spoke at the Noble Peace Prize Forum on “Finding Peace After Pain.” In 2009 she received the Minnesota Quilters “Beginners’ Scholarship Award. She is currently a leader in the Harrison community and in multiple roles at Redeemer Center for Life in Minneapolis. She spoke to “The Young Mom Mission“at Redeemer Center for Life. Harriet is an activist in sustainable food documentary including other creativities that builds peaceful community.