Work’s mission is to accompany families in Haiti out of poverty through good, dignified jobs. We believe in unleashing the inherent power of every person to do for themselves. Our work is focused in one community called Menelas, where about 10,000 family members reside. Our goal is simple: to place two heads of household from each family into a good, dignified job so that they can pull themselves out of poverty forever.
MENELAS, PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
Data from our community surveys show that the average household size is six family members to a household with a median income of $29USD, less than $1 a day per family. Our adult family members average a sixth grade education level. Children in our community tend to drop-out of school by age 10, or the third grade, due to poverty. Common self-reported job skills including driving and cooking. Less than 5% of our participants had a job at the time of the survey. A six-month rental home costs anywhere between $250USD to $400USD.
Incorporated into our community is also the country’s official landfill, Truttier, where approximately 2,000 people reside. Work expanded its services to Truttier in 2017 as a founding partner of the First Mile, an initiative to end undignified child labor in the first mile of supply chains. Learn more about our work at the First Mile.
We approach our work in partnership with the families we serve. We accompany them with what they need to move themselves out of poverty beginning with asking them what it is that they need while building a relationship grounded on trust and collaboration to make progress.
Our wrap-around service model is an asset based holistic approach to ending poverty. We start by getting to know our families and learning about their needs. Oftentimes it begins with addressing health concerns, as illness can stand in the way of all other goals. Next, we ensure all school-aged children have access to an education and address basic needs such as debt and housing with their parents. Once family members are work-ready, they participate in our job preparation program and are trained and placed into dignified work. They receive follow up services such as professional development and wealthy building product offerings while we maintain our commitment to accompany them until they no longer need us. The backbone of the model is to provide families with the skills to build new and productive habits that will enable success in the workplace.
Over the course of our partnership with our families, we’ve identified three key areas of services.
We believe that health and education are human rights and a necessary component to success in the workplace. Our families receive open access to medical care while they get up to speed on taking agency of their own health care through our training, one-on-one accompaniment, and resource distribution. Being runners ourselves, we wanted to include sports in development and have started a weekly Run Club in our community. We run and Zumba our way to a healthy lifestyle every week!
In Menelas, the children entering our program are on average 3.9 years behind in school. When kids aren’t in school, at least one parent stays home as well. Upon intake and an education assessment, our kids are enrolled into an existing school in the area and into our supplemental education program to support their success. We strive to have every child graduate high school and enter the workforce, a professional school, or a university.
Job Training & Placement
We’ve found that when a family lacks essential needs such as access to medical care, education, and the ability to put food on the table and a safe roof over their heads, they also struggle in the workforce. Once our families are “out of the hole,” they enter our job training program to learn soft skills, job-specific hard skills, and they’re then placed into a dignified job. Our goal is a job or consistent work that pays at least double the minimum wage in Haiti. A combination of community-based economic development projects and employment partnerships provide sources of dignified job for our families.