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Overview of the Model City Initiative
The Haiti Support Project (HSP) launched the Model City Initiative to focus its limited human and material resources over a five year period on Milot, a city of approximately 40,000 people in the north of Haiti near the Sans Souci Palace and the Citadel. The Model City Initiative is an idea, a vision intended to encourage/inspire friends of Haiti to find ways and means of partnering with the people of Milot to advance the process of social and economic development. Working collaboratively with the Local Development Committee of Milot, city officials, private and public sector stakeholders and the Destination Haiti Foundation, the goal is to use the assets of the Citadel and the Sans Souci Palace to transform this lovely city into a Mecca for cultural-historical tourism as a principal vehicle to improve the quality of life of the people.
In order for Milot to be transformed into a Mecca for cultural-historical tourism and people based economic/business development, it is critical that the social delivery systems and physical infrastructure be dramatically upgraded/improved as follows:
1. Improved education for elementary and secondary school students with an emphasis on upgrading the municipal (public) schools which serve the poorest of the poor in Haiti. The major priorities are to provide a regular flow of school supplies and equipment; improve buildings and facilities; assist with teacher training and development; and, augment teacher compensation
2. Adequate, functioning health facilities including a hospital and community health clinics. This will involve maintaining a pool of doctors, nurses and paramedical personnel; improving and creating facilities; establishing a regular/dependable source of medical supplies and equipment; and, devising a system to monitor/account for the distribution of medical supplies and equipment to ensure they are utilized as intended (and do not end up for sale in the private sector). Milot has already made significant progress in this area.
3. Clean/safe drinking water and an effective sanitation system. This will involve an assessment of the adequacy of the current system and prescriptions for correctives where necessary. An integral aspect of the assessment should entail evaluating systems for trash and garbage collection and disposal with an eye towards devising a regional system which might utilize green technologies to create bio-fuels and other sustainable, job generating products.
4. Quality affordable housing inventory. This will involve an assessment of the current housing inventory and the development of a plan to renovate/rehabilitate inadequate dwellings and the construction of new units as necessary
5. Repairing the electrical delivery system to provide a steady and reliable source of electricity for homes, community facilities and businesses. This will involve an assessment of the requirements for repairing/maintaining the existing system as well as exploring alternative methods of electrification such as solar and wind power.
6. Generating economic development/business ventures to stimulate the economy, create jobs, produce food/agricultural products for internal consumption and export and generate income to enable people to improve the quality of life for their families and the community. This will involve the development of a short and long term plan for development incorporating the human and material assets of the community. The utilization of micro-lending type strategies could be useful to the process of stimulating economic/business ventures as part of the overall process.
HSP Priorities and Commitments
1. Focus on improving the quality and access to education by providing a consistent/reliable source of schools supplies on an annual basis with a priority on assisting the municipal/public schools that serve the poorest of the poor in Haiti. HSP is committed to maintaining a scholarship and shoe fund so that the Local Development Committee can provide assistance to needy families to enable their children to attend school. In addition, HSP will work to attract resources for teacher training, improve educational facilities and enhance teacher salaries.
2. Raise resources for a micro-credit lending program to provide small loans assist existing businesses and stimulate economic development, including agricultural/food development consistent with the goals of the Model City Initiative.
3. Raise resources to construct a Empowerment and Visitors Center as a critical centerpiece of the Model City Initiative. The Center will house a school, library, computer center, the micro-lending program, radio station and visitors information desk
4. Widely publicize the Model City Initiative in order to attract humanitarian and development resources and business/economic investment in Milot to fulfill the goals of the Initiative.
For further information about the Model City Initiative or to make a tax deductible contribution, call: 888.774.2921 or visit the website www.ibw21.org Contributions can be made online via credit card. Checks should be made payable to Institute of the Black World/HSP and mailed to: 31-35 95th Street, East Elmhurst, NY 11369.
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Collaborative of progressive, African-centered scholars, think tanks and research centers dedicated to utilizing theoretical and applied research to address issues of vital concern to people of African descent and enhance the development of Black communities.
Haiti Support Project
An Initiative committed to “Building a Constituency for Haiti in the United States,” focusing on mobilizing/organizing African Americans and other people of African descent to strengthen the process of democracy and development in the world’s first Black Republic.