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bana2166
10-19-06, 05:50 PM
Grass-roots Konbit Pou Ayiti (KONPAY) will discuss efforts in Gloucester (Massachusetts) to repair Haiti.

Massachusetts-born Melinda Miles and Haitian-American Joe Duplan, co-directors of Konbit Pou Ayiti (KONPAY), will discuss efforts in Haiti to repair the damage done to the environment and the economy since it became an independent nation 200 years ago in a talk next week.

The program takes place on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. at The Bookstore, 61 Main St., Gloucester. The presentation will focus on what has happened in Haiti to turn what was the second sovereign country in this hemisphere (and the first to abolish slavery) into the poorest today, and how the single richest colonial territory has become a desert.

Duplan and Miles have been advocating for Haiti for a combined 40 years. After the country's 33rd coup d'etat in 2004, they founded Konbit Pou Ayiti - which means "Working Together for Haiti." They have relocated from Washington, D.C., to Haiti to act as an organizational witness to coup-related violence, and as a link to advocates and the media in the international community.

Their goal is to foster solutions to social, economic and environmental projects at the grass-roots level.

"In a country where 85 percent of its people live in rural areas, a devastated environment means disaster. Fighting off starvation is a relentless, daily struggle for most Haitians," according to a press release..

KONPAY also supports an artist-run collective in Haiti's arts and carnival capital, Jacmel. The collective acts as a community center while providing artists with needed commercial opportunities.

bana2166
10-19-06, 05:56 PM
About KONPAY

Our Mission: Konbit Pou Ayiti/KONPAY (Working Together for Haiti) strengthens existing organizations, builds national networks and creates relationships between individuals in the U.S. and Haiti. KONPAY focuses on Haitian solutions to environmental, social and economic problems and provides training and funding to grassroots and community-based projects. KONPAY is supporting Haitian-led efforts to reforest Haiti and protect the environment.

Misyon Nou: Konbit Pou Ayiti/KONPAY ranfose oganizasyon ki egziste deja, bati rezo nasyonal ak kreye relasyon ant moun ki ozetazini ak moun an Ayiti. KONPAY toujou ap chache ou byen sipote on solisyon ki te kreye pa Ayityan sou kesyon anvironman, sosyal ak pwoblem ekonomik epi bay semine ak fon pou pwoje baz e kominote.
konbit gwo mon

Konbit Pou Ayiti/KONPAY is a grassroots organization based in Jacmel, Haiti. A konbit is an African tradition of community work teams who gather to assist those most in need. This tradition is alive and well and can be seen in fields across Haiti every day. KONPAY?s mission is to take part in a konbit for Haiti by strengthening existing community-based initiatives and organizations. Rather than start new projects, KONPAY supports those who have come together to face challenges in their own communities. In Haitian Creole we say ankadreman to describe the variety of activities beyond funding that encompass a genuine support of efforts, and ankadreman is our motto.

Founded in 2004, in the wake of Haiti?s 33rd coup d?etat, KONPAY provided emergency assistance to a wide group of human rights and women?s organizations, and set up safe houses for at-risk community leaders. We developed a close partnership with the Commission of Women Victims for Victims (KOFAVIV), a group of women who were raped during the 1991-94 coup period who came together to offer services to women being raped in the aftermath of the 2004 coup d?etat. KONPAY helped KOFAVIV secure funding to provide emergency medical care, support services and peer counseling to rape victims in the poorest neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.

KONPAY supports an artist-directed art cooperative in Jacmel that provides life skills training to disadvantaged children and a primary school for at-risk and extremely poor children in Port-au-Prince?s Martissant neighborhood. KONPAY provides more than just fiscal sponsorship; we seek to facilitate and maintain US-Haitian partnerships that strengthen the mission and autonomy of our Haitian partners. In the case of the Center for Artistic Training of Jacmel, a partnership with the International Music Network underwrites basic operating expenses, and the unique ?Adopt an Artist? program links Haitian artists with individuals in North America. The Martissant school is currently experimenting with a school twinning program with a high school in Massachusetts that is rooted in authentic correspondence to build relationships between students.

KONPAY is dedicated to realistic, Haitian-articulated solutions to Haiti?s problems. In addition to special partnerships that maximize on common interests and shared goals, KONPAY is responding to the twin crises of poverty and environmental devastation by organizing a national network. We began this work with a planning conference in September 2005 that included participation from nearly every corner of the country. Environmental activists, including peasant farmers, national leaders and agronomy technicians, spent three days using Open Space (a methodology that calls on the contribution of all participants in order to determine the agenda), with the theme: How can we build a national working group on the Haitian environment? The results of the conference are the framework for KONPAY?s activities for 2006-2007.

bana2166
10-19-06, 05:57 PM
To contact Konbit Pou Ayiti/KONPAY staff in Haiti

via email:
Melinda Miles, melinda@konpay.org
Joe Duplan, joe@konpay.org

via snail mail: Melinda Miles and Joe Duplan - JAC
c/o Lynx Air International/PMB
PO Box 407139
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33340-7130

In the United States, contact:

Elise Hansen
KONPAY
7 Wall Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

elise@konpay.org