When hurricanes Irma and Maria passed by the north coast of Haiti in 2017, hundreds of Haitian citizens were left in a desperate state, homes damaged, farms ruined, and meager incomes destroyed. People suffered medical complications resulting from the storms as well. FONHARE, with the generous support and sponsorship of Christian Blind Mission (CBM), and in coordination with the Bureau of the Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (BSEIPH, ) provided relief efforts to the people of the northeast coast of Haiti. This vast project included distribution of approx. 70lbs of food and rice to 250 families, hygiene kits, medical consultations, and medicines to over 630 people, 95 of them with disabilities, and a long term sustenance program of goat distribution to rural families to provide food and revenue for them. FONHARE will also provide emergency management training to local entities and NGO’s to better prepare for future storms and furnish adequate warning and rescue to rural families and those with disabilities
FONHARE recently received the “Accessibility Award” in an official ceremony that included Haiti’s First Lady, the Secretary of State for People with Disabilities, a Representative for the Prime Minister, and the Ambassador of the European Union in Haiti as well as other Haitian government officials and international and national NGO representatives. It was a wonderful evening of recognition for FONHARE’s hard work in creating accessible buildings in Ouanaminthe, promoting proper accessibility building codes for new construction, training contractors and masons on proper ways to build ramps, and advocating for inclusion/accessiblity of schools, public buildings, and religious organizations.
In Haiti, the Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year Program identifies and honors new business leaders of the future every year. This year, FONHARE was invited to participate by Digicel. They came to interview Ivens, who told them the story of FONHARE, from the early days of making trips up to north Haiti from Santo Domingo, DR, to treat patients, to the current realization of his dreams for his organization. FONHARE was selected as a regional winner in the “Emerging Category” and became a national finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.