“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” Desmond Tutu
Ecoworks International (EWI), is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, organization dedicated to bringing practical and effective solutions to Haitian rural communities struggling to overcome their deeply entrenched poverty. Our activities span the gamut of economic and social projects to reach the goal of building vibrant and equitable rural regions. READ MORE
EWI was officially established January 1st, 2009 by Henryka Manès who previously worked in more than twenty countries worldwide while Director of Nonsectarian Programs of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). EWI creates programs entirely built on smallholder farmers expressed needs and aspirations.
This is why EWI projects advance slowly and require a substantial investment of time and resources at the front-end because farmers need time to absorb the new information, practice their newly acquired skills, and adopt new habits that minimize dependency and emphasizes agency, autonomy and self-reliance. But once trained, empowered, and encouraged to assume increasingly more responsibility, farmers advance at full speed and take ownership of each project they chose in the first place.
This is what is happening in Marre-Roseau where the first of the five planned cooperatives began to function in September 2019. Farmers take initiatives, make decisions and progressively expand their responsibilities as they become more confident in their abilities to fulfill their roles as owners and governors of their cooperative. Currently they are harvesting their crops (this is December 2019), making preparations for the Goat Project to start, and participate in planning the new coffee production.
Our Mission: We partner with Haiti’s marginalized rural communities to establish farmer-owned agricultural cooperatives to increase food production, employment, and prosperity. We believe Haitian farmers can feed Haiti.
Our Values: We build ecosystems in nature and in communities to fulfill our sacred obligation to be responsible for one another and for our planet’s survival.
Our Approach: To invest our knowledge, know-how and resources in our rural partner-communities, so they gain greater agency, autonomy, and self-reliance. We do it by establishing agricultural cooperatives which are owned and governed by farmers for farmers. The co-ops are economic development engines and become a legacy farmers can leave to their children and grandchildren.
- Farmers will build, own and govern their own agricultural cooperative
- Their earnings will increase; new markets will open providing new revenue streams; diversified crops will bring more financial security and help mitigate market fluctuations
- Cooperatives will become anchors for increased local economic initiatives
- Local infrastructure and quality of life will improve; more children will be enrolled in school, freed from carrying water
- Women will have more parity through leadership positions in the economic and social sphere; youth will participate more in the local economy, especially in agriculture, technology, and entrepreneurship
- Once well-established, the Marre-Roseau cooperative will reach out to the neighboring communal section of Pays Pourri to join the co-op.
- Marre-Roseau will exemplify successful decentralization; a viable rural economic hub; and a stemmed outmigration.
« Nous ne savons pas encore que nous sommes une force, une seule force: tous les habitants, tous les nègres des plaines et des mornes réunis. Un jour, quand nous aurons compris cette vérité, nous nous lèverons d'un point à l'autre du pays et nous ferons l'assemblée générale des gouverneurs de la rosée, le grand coumbite des travailleurs de la terre pour défricher la misère et planter la vie nouvelle.”
Jacques Roumain, “Les Gouverneurs de la Rosée”. 1944
“We have yet to realize that we are a force, one single force made of all the inhabitants, all the negroes of the plains and the hills, united. One day, when we will understand this truth, we will rise from one end of the country to the other, and we will organize the general assembly of the governors of the dew, the great “coumbite” of workers of the land and we will weed out misery and plant new life.
Jacques Roumain, “Governors of the Dew”. 1944 " (Unofficial translation by HM)