For as long as the Clinton Foundation has been doing work around the world, it has had a singular focus—improving people’s lives and delivering tangible results. As someone who has had the privilege of seeing many of our programs up-close and leading our projects in Haiti, I’ve been able to witness the benefits of a flexible, nimble approach. There is no catchy one-liner to describe the Foundation because what we do isn’t accomplished in a one-size-fits-all model. Our approach depends on the issue we’re tackling and the communities we’re working alongside. But there is a common thread. We establish innovative partnerships and bring together diverse perspectives and resources to develop solutions that last. That’s it, plain and simple. This can be seen through our work with smallholder farmers in Africa, in our work with the American Heart Association reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity in America’s schools, via the more than 3,200 commitments made by the Clinton Global Initiative members, and much more. The model adapts, but the results remain the same—lives and communities improved.
Haiti, where much of my work takes place, is a perfect example. We’ve developed an innovative full-cycle investing model that looks to support small businesses and entrepreneurs holistically as opposed to a single intervention at one point in time. This has been a model we feel can achieve the most significant impact for the people of Haiti. It emphasizes sustainability and allows us to best leverage our resources. As in many other countries where we work around the world, our approach is centered on partnerships and programs that encourage growth, empower girls and women, and support small businesses. Combined, our programs and investments help to revitalize and diversify the country’s economy and provide people the opportunity to build a strong and prosperous future for themselves and their communities. Through our strong partnership with NRG, a Fortune 200 company supporting clean energy resources and technologies, many small businesses in Haiti like Papillon Enterprise, a Haitian-based social business providing employment opportunities and skills training for artisans, and the CETPA farming cooperative's castor oil processing center, have now been solarized, significantly reducing their operating costs. Another example of our work in Haiti focuses on lifting up the local artisan community, including many women-led businesses. We’ve worked closely with West Elm and other retailers to support local businesses and help them expand their market opportunities abroad. West Elm alone is now sourcing over $1 million annually from Haiti. And these are just two examples; there are many more.
Since 2010, the Foundation has helped raise more than $30 million for Haiti and leveraged more than $120 million in foreign direct investment. Tomorrow, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton and Clinton Foundation President and CEO Donna Shalala will be leading a group of philanthropists, business leaders, and supporters on the ground to see this work in action. Over two days, they will visit Foundation partnerships and programs that are making an impact in Port-au-Prince as well as in the rural Central Plateau area. We believe taking action to develop innovative solutions alongside our Haitian partners is greater than doing nothing. Simply put, we believe #ActionIsGreater.
Today, I invite you to learn more about our history in Haiti and the partnerships and programs being featured on the upcoming trip.
Visit www.haiti.clintonfoundation.org or www.clintonfoundation.org to learn more about our work. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for daily updates live from Haiti and use #ActionIsGreater if you agree!