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To gaze into another’s face is to do two things: to recognize their humanity and to assert your own.

Lawrence Hill

Author of The Book of Negroes  (used with permission)

What We Do

Since 1984, FIDA/pcH has been committed to providing resources to men and women who are motivated to become invested shareholders in their own productive agricultural cooperative as governed by the Seven International Principles of Cooperative.

When Small is Beautiful

Renowned economist, E.F. Schumacher published his influential classic, “Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered” in the mid 1970’s. Essentially, it counters the “bigger the better” belief in that there are societal consequences of a fixation on the pursuit of endless economic growth. He posits that “the expansion of our needs is the antithesis of wisdom… and of freedom and peace. Every increase in needs tends to increase one’s dependence on outside forces over which one cannot have control, and therefore creates existential fear. Only by a reduction of needs can one promote a genuine reduction on those tensions which are the ultimate causes of strife and war.”

This should be cause for pause for anyone working in a country such as Haiti. It was, indeed for us. Since 1984, we have deliberately and strategically focused on pursuing a model that develops capacities for people united in a common productive activity that allows them to produce goods and services that meet their needs. This is not a multi-million-dollar interventionist project model with predetermined timelines, activities, and budgets (which for the record, is one that has never worked in Haiti). We intentionally entered a development approach that was responsive, participatory, and not time bound. As my father famously believed, “True development must be in the hands of the people. If it is not envisioned by the people, owned by the people, and managed by the people, it will surely fail.” This kind of approach is not embraced by the megalomania of most international organizations or institutions.

To be true to our vision and mission, we cannot be driven by money or expansion, nor trying to be all things to all people, always responding to need as we see it or demanding a version of Haiti that we think it should be (that is often designed to suit our agenda). Such is what has kept the country in its chronic state of poverty. However, as goes Bob Dylan’s 1964 anthem for change:

The line it is drawn

The curse it is cast

The slow one now

Will later be fast

As the present now

Will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin'

And the first one now

Will later be last

For the times they are a-changin'

The people of Haiti are becoming aware that they must be “the change within”. In little pockets of the countryside, in the villages and communes, we see an unprecedented mobilization and motivation for men and women to equip themselves with the knowledge and resources to provide for themselves and their families. It has taken time. But the time has come. We have listened, responded, and never left… in 40 years.

Small has proven beautiful… because people mattered.

Betsy Wall

Executive Director

How We Do It

It is the experience of FIDA/pcH that change in Haiti is not sustainable without:​

  1. a management structure to incubate it that has systems and principles.

  2. productive activities that can generate a sustainable income.

  3. investment in the human being to develop knowledge and confidence to equip one to be a productive and responsible member of their community and their country.

FIDA and its working arm in Haiti, productive cooperatives Haiti (pcH) fosters economic development and social transformation in rural communities through the productive agricultural cooperative model by:​

  • providing resources and introducing appropriate technology to communities who desire to advance themselves economically by participating in the cooperative model as guided by the Seven International Principles of Cooperative

  • advocating an integrated Three Pillar Development approach: The Cooperative Development Pillar, The Economic Development Pillar, The Member Capacity Pillar

  • by a strict adherence to the practice of participatory methodology

Explore FIDA

FIDA Canada is a fully registered charitable organization: BN 13365 2768 RR0001

FIDA USA is a fully registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization: US EIN # 47-2300976

productive cooperatives Haiti (pcH) is a fully registered Haitian non-profit organization: #B0307

© 2024 FIDA/pcH

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