Reflection and analysis from MCC Haiti staff
At MCC, we don’t just work with local organizations to implement projects—we also reflect critically on best practices and new ideas in relief, development, and peacebuilding.
Intersections is a quarterly periodical published by MCC that promotes theory- and practice-based examination of the many issues encountered by MCC and our partners. Here, we’ve collected three articles published in Intersections written by staff of MCC’s Haiti office covering Community-Led Total Sanitation, responsible photography practices, and restorative justice in Haiti’s prison system.
Paul Shetler Fast, MCC Global Health Coordinator
Following Hurricane Matthew in 2016, MCC began a series of pilot WASH projects in the Artibonite Department of central Haiti. These projects used many CLTS elements but built on the positive Haitian cultural tradition of konbit (a rough equivalent to the Amish barn raising tradition) to build positive and inclusive community engagement rather than taking a negative, shame-based approach. The focus on WASH programming was driven by the communities themselves, who identified the eradication of cholera and other deadly diarrheal diseases as their number one priority for MCC accompaniment. Community-led mapping was done to identify the catchment areas that would maximize impact on community-selected WASH outcomes (in this case prioritizing communities living near to and uphill from shared community water sources).
by Annalee Giesbrecht, Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Pierre advocated for balance in representation: he wants outsiders to see both the difficult and the beautiful aspects of life in Wopisa. He also expressed a feeling of abandonment by the state and international organizations, a sentiment MCC staff hear frequently when visiting remote communities: “they don’t even know we exist.” Pierre hopes that by sharing photographs of his community, MCC can help raise awareness of the struggles they face on a day-to-day basis. When asked how he felt about photos of his community being used to support latrine projects in other countries, he said he had no problem with this because “Haiti is not the only country that has problems,” and would also be supportive of photos from other countries being used to support projects in Haiti.
by Paul Shetler Fast, Global Health Coordinator and former MCC Co-Representative for Haiti
Responding to the stark realities of the Haitian prison system, MCC in Haiti has recently shifted from a strategy of public policy advocacy and provision of humanitarian assistance (such as blankets, food and hygiene kits) to a strategy of restorative justice, legal aid and wraparound support to aid with reintegration after release. After a series of pilot projects to test new approaches, MCC is now supporting two distinct models of work with prisoners.