UNDERSTANDING HAITI’S PAST AND THEIR WAY TOWARD THE FUTURE…
Haiti is a country steeped in centuries of cultural fear and mistrust. Although an independent republic since 1804, Haitians have yet to experience the trust that enables productivity through cooperation.
A study of Haitian society reveals a difficulty with management, a difficulty with administration, a difficulty to work in any situation that requires cooperation, a difficulty in trusting: a difficulty but not an inability. FIDA both understands and accepts the cultural barrier that confronts the cooperative model. However, through time and patience, the model has known success. Through consistent, sincere, and transparent management, it has known success. Through trust and good faith exhibited in training and supervision of cooperative members and activities, it has known success. Members have come to know something of trust and good faith. And so, by increasing cooperative membership, increasing incomes, and introducing literacy and sustainable development practices for the communities that FIDA/pcH partners with, a crack is created in the cultural dynamic of distrust and fear which blocks enduring cooperation.
The cooperative model is particularly well suited for rural communities in Haiti. Often referred to as The Third Choice, it emerges as the response to addressing adversity when there 1) exists no national infrastructure or 2) no individual capacity to overcome extreme challenges. It is the experience of FIDA/pcH that change in Haiti is not sustainable without a structure to incubate it.
The true cooperative model then:
provides much needed infrastructure at the rural community level where none exists,
is designed to address economic adversity,
is a democratic model requiring transparency and accountability,
requires individual commitment and cooperation,
and adheres to the Seven International Principles of Cooperative.