December 2023 – Our Favorite Moments of 2023

December 14, 2023

Dear Friend,

As 2023 comes to an end, it is time to reflect on what Roots of Development and Rasin Devlopman have accomplished in Haiti this year! From women’s empowerment to environmental restoration, food security, and infrastructure development, none of this would have been possible without your support. Whether you’ve been with us every step of the way or have just joined the Roots family, we truly appreciate everything you do to make our work possible.

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, Rasin held a “Fanm Janm” Strong Women’s Leadership Workshop! Rasin partnered with two local women’s groups to put on this workshop focused on the role of women in agriculture. Three extraordinary women leaders from the island, including Lovemy Gabriel (pictured left), facilitated the workshop for 33 women, including 3 school groups

On March 25th, Rasin Devlopman came together with members of the 2nd communal section of La Gonave, who have created an organization called “Zòn Pam Pi Bèl,” to work on paving 10 kilometers of road. Throughout the island, road conditions are poor, hindering people’s ability to travel and restricting economic growth and opportunity. Projects like these help ensure that remote communities are not isolated by their geography.

On June 5th, World Environment Day, Rasin Devlopman and CAPEELAG (another organization local to La Gonave), mobilized a group of volunteers to plant 200 mangrove seedlings along the island’s coastline. Mangroves provide their coastlines with protection from the erosion that results from waves, tides, flooding—and most importantly for La Gonave, tropical storms.

On June 25th, representatives of Rasin Devlopman gathered with leaders around Haiti as a part of the annual “Gwoup Konbit” workshops. Topics covered included education, environment and sustainability, governance, and community-led development, drawing from the lessons learned by Roots of Development, Rasin Devlopman, and others. This group is now working to develop a guide to community-led development.

On November 15th, Koumbit Jaden, a community-based organization led by La Gonave local Epherns brought in its harvest! The organization works to build food security in Epherns’s community by providing seeds and training. So far, Epherns has trained 20 farmers in agroecology, distributing seeds for homestead gardens to each; planted a small pilot farm that he uses to experiment with different techniques; and strengthened the capacities of six other small farms.

AND, on November 28th, Giving Tuesday, some of our amazing supporters helped us raise more than $20,000 for projects like these in Haiti! Thank you so much to everyone who donated toward that goal, and a special thank you to Mark & Jaime Summers, Ken & Susie Campbell, Susan Manning, Nick Weissmueller & Valentine Quadrat, and Chris & Wally Lamb for providing matching donations!

These are just SOME of the things Roots, our Haitian partner, and the people of La Gonave have accomplished together this year. We can’t wait to share more with you as 2023 comes to a close.

If you want to continue supporting our work in Haiti during this season of giving, please consider making a generous, tax-deductible donation to Roots of Development before the year ends. Or, if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything, consider giving in honor of a loved one or purchasing a unique piece of Haitian metal art from our online store!We recently received an all-new batch of pieces from Haiti, and there’s sure to be something for everyone.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Roots of Development!


Chad Bissonnette

President & Cofounder

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