On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by a powerful earthquake with unprecedented repercussions on the lives of Haitians and the country’s development. Once the recovery phase began, the Volunteer Cooperation Program (VCP) – a consortium of four organizations, Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI), World University Service of Canada (WUSC), Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie, and Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), with financial support from the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) – responded to the call with great success. As the current program draws to a close, results indicate Haiti’s recovery is taking shape.
Since 2010, and in response to the Haitian government’s requests to donors, the VCP has recruited and placed over 300 highly qualified volunteer advisors throughout Haiti. Collectively, the volunteers support the VCP team and partners, who include schools, the public sector, businesses and chambers of commerce, among others. Through this collaborative framework and with the active participation of Haitians, Haiti’s renewal continues to progress successfully.
VCP Facts and Figures:
- 25 partners (state institutions, businesses and civil society organizations) have strengthened capacity;
- 1,550 professionals (35% of them women) in local government and civil society have enhanced their mastery of techniques in management, customer service and communications;
- 1,091 education community actors (teacher trainers, principals, teachers) reported improvements in their management skills or pedagogical methods;
- 1,150 people (30% of them women) were trained and/or supported in business management and/or management services for companies and investors;
- 719 tools or procedures were improved (programming, education, business management, etc.);
- 75 supported businesses have improved their management or production processes.
Over 300 volunteer advisors worked with Haitians to improve training programs and to promote youth access to employment. Volunteer advisors have also supported sustainable economic development and small businesses growth by facilitating entrepreneurship support services and training.
“Before the Volunteer Cooperation Program came to Haiti, technical and vocational training in the Southeast was hardly promoted at all. If this sector is booming today, it is thanks to the unwavering support of VCP and volunteers,” explains Christian Duplan, a partner at the National Institute for Vocational Training (INFP) in Haiti. The exceptional skills and expertise provided by Canadian volunteers from across sectors and professions are critical components in Haiti’s overall long-term renewal.
The VCP, an active program recounted in photos and stories across Canada:
Ayiti la! Histoires d’un tremblement de cœur (Stories of an Earthquake) – In remembrance of the tragic earthquake’s anniversary, the VCP will be participating in an event at La Tohu, in Montreal, on January 10, 11 and 12, 2015. Over the three days, the VCP team will showcase the determination of the Haitian people to turn towards the future and rebuild their lives. Every day, members of the VCP team and volunteer advisors will be on-site at a kiosk to share the stories of the volunteers who went to Haiti – some of whom belong to the Haitian diaspora – with the public. It will also be a chance to reveal the results of a program whose effects are still being felt and documented. For more information, please visit: www.tohu.ca
VCP Haiti photo exhibition – As of November 20, 2014, 20 photos recounting the VCP have been on display at La Place du Centre in Gatineau. This free photo exhibition is the outcome of a contest for VCP volunteer advisors who were asked to document their work in the field and their own perceptions about it. This travelling exhibition will continue until 19 January in the national capital region, moving to Toronto the last week of January, and then returning to Haiti several weeks later.
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For more information:
World University Service of Canada (WUSC)
CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization)