Jul 29
July 29, 2015

Action Is Greater: Note from Clinton Foundation President Donna Shalala in Haiti, Day Two


The second day of our trip to Haiti began bright and early. We headed north out of Port-au-Prince to make our way to the town of Mirebalais, where the Foundation and CGI members have worked alongside the local community, showing #ActionIsGreater when partners share their collective strengths.


Rolling Up our Sleeves

We kicked off the day with the dynamic CEO of Kreyòl Essence, Yve-Car Momperousse, at the Centre de Stockage et de Transformations des Produits Agricoles or CETPA, a farming co-op which supplies unrefined castor oil to Kreyòl Essence, the first Haitian eco-luxury personal care products based on that oil. With support and investment from the Clinton Foundation, Kreyòl Essence and CETPA work to integrate their operations throughout the entire castor oil value chain – from farming the castor beans to marketing the final beauty supplies. With help from our initial investment of $58,000, CETPA and Kreyòl Essence have hired more than 50 employees, and will plant an estimated 55,000 castor trees. This local product and the jobs it has provided will then go on to improve the Mirebalais community. 


Changing Lives through Supply Chain Economics

We then headed to the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership’s (CGEP) Acceso-Haiti depots in Mirebalais, where the warehouses serve as the hub for local farmers to come store and sell their peanuts. A joint effort by CGEP and the Foundation’s Haiti team, depots like these are a crucial element of CGEP’s Supply Chain program, which helps to empower these smallholder farmers to dramatically increase their incomes. Moreover, it provides aflatoxin free peanuts to the Haitian people. As a result of a $1.25 million investment, CGEP has built 5 depots that serve 200-400 farmers.

We were also excited to announce the expansion of CGEP’s Chakipi program in Haiti. The Haitian distribution enterprise will close the market gap by empowering local, entrepreneurial women to be part of a door-to-door sales distribution network. This way, the base of the pyramid market has access to affordable household products while, and at the same time, it’s creating jobs for women in the community.


A Modern Hospital Serving Thousands

Our last stop in Haiti was a visit to Partners in Health’s Mirebalais hospital, Haiti’s premier teaching hospital, where several CGI Commitments to Action are saving lives. We met with hospital staff and patients to hear their remarkable stories. This hospital is impressive. Built after the earthquake, the 205,000-square foot hospital has 300 beds and provides primary care services to nearly 185,000 people in Mirebalais and nearby communities.

We also saw the hospital’s Avon Cancer Care, which was born out of a 2010 CGI commitment made by the Avon Foundation for Women. Together with Partners in Health, Avon committed to providing expert clinicians to train community health workers to perform clinical breast screening exams, as well as modern equipment for diagnostics, access to modern pathology evaluation, and treatments.


In Case You Missed It

I hope you were able to follow Chelsea’s Instagram “takeover” and go behind the scenes with us; check out the amazing photos here. The Miami Herald wrote about our emphasis on the empowerment of girls and women, and both Essence Magazine and Daily Mail encouraged their readers to learn about the stories behind Chelsea’s Instagram takeover. Lastly, visit our newly-launched microsite to learn more about the Clinton Foundation’s work in Haiti.


Working Ourselves Out of a Job

I saw many things over the past two days. I saw partnerships. I saw progress. I saw our work in action. At the Foundation, we say that our goal is to work ourselves out of a job. Chelsea and I, along with those who traveled with us, met remarkable people and saw firsthand the power of our life changing work.

We may not be out of a job quite yet, but we’re certainly on our way.