Through rural development, empowering community members towards community self-sufficiency

Engaging local farmers, youth, textile workers, female merchants, and community entrepreneurs to collaborate and shape their future in Haiti

Photo of Olivia
0 2

Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Solisyon Kominote Yo

Year founded

2013

Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $50k - $100k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50,000 - 100,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Haiti

Headquarters location: City

Ouanaminthe

Location(s) of impact

Throughout the northeast department of Haiti.

Website

http://solkomyo.org

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Communities in Haiti lack access to critical services, such as energy, water, agricultural support, banking solutions, and affordable quality foods. The current work of community organizations is isolated and is not reaching it’s potential because it is not part of an ecosystem that leverages its assets. Solkomyo has created that ecosystem. We step in at the critical junction to provide community members with the tools to co-collaborate with one another and together create opportunities that benefit the environment.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Solkomyo puts the community needs and priorities at the center of the equation and equips the surrounding ecosystem to solve those needs. We look at the assets the communities have and the current organizations that exist to introduce creative, responsive tools to help them become self-sufficient. By identifying the crossover between groups, we leverage our tools and their assets to respond to community challenges. 

Through training and capacity building among farmers, youth, textile workers, female merchants, and community entrepreneurs, we support and grow their work to be financially autonomous and mutually beneficial. Our work is within and across community organizations to create social innovation teams that are equipped to respond to community challenges and apply practical solutions. They provide access to savings mechanisms, sustainable energy, healthcare, agriculture, water, and income-earning solutions as well as educational programs for youth that were nonexistent before.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

A leading enterprise has been created that is owned and led by community members. Over 10,000 life-improving technologies have been purchased by workers and community members which directly impacted over 45,000 people and generated over US$1.2 million in direct economic impact. We work with farmers cooperatives who engage over 1000 farmers in improving crop productivity, solving irrigation challenges, and providing financing solutions to community members. We are supporting a goat-breeding project where over 70 community members are recent goat-owners. Over 300 youth are engaged in our youth empowerment activities and are addressing community needs including leadership building, sustainable agriculture, and environmental protection. We have started community savings banks with over 350 members who pulled over US$16,000 in savings and took over 1,700 loans used to invest back into the community. This ecosystem continues to create impact over the long term.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Solkomyo has been able to start and continue its work thanks to the generous support of Levi Strauss Foundation, International Finance Corporation, Warby Parker, Columbia Sportswear and private donors who believe in SolKomYo’s mission and work. We perform our activities on a very small budget because we leverage local resources and support. 
 
We have an annual budget of US$ 60,000, which includes costs for operating expenses and projects.
Percent breakdown:
1. Grants 50%
2. Individual donations 25%
3. Corporate contributions 20%
4. Earned income 5%

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Often, organizations in Haiti have a top-down approach that do not utilize the assets of the community. Solkomyo's contrasting element is that we leverage the existing network to address prioritized community needs. We build an ecosystem which is agile and responsive, using the strengths of the community to identify innovative, organic solutions to the community priorities. Together with locals, we continually adjust and make the initiatives as self-sufficient as possible to lift the community.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

A Solkomyo community entrepreneur came to the Solkomyo leadership team to discuss a water pump that had been broken for over two years in a nearby community. Because of one broken pump, over 1,000 community members had very limited access to water. In order to repair the pump, it would cost $180 and no one person or family could afford this. The Solkomyo team innovated a simple and elegant financing mechanism where the team and the community pooled their funds together to finance the repair of the pump. 1,000 people and 400 students at a local school have access to water for the first time in two years. In addition, a local committee was created to pool funds together and continuously manage the pump. This creative approach puts the community at the center of the solution with full ownership and demonstrates how a simple nudge can empower community members to shape their own futures.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact

0 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment