Friends of FOKAL - Reshape Haiti
“In every community there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart there is the power to do it.” - Marianne Williamson

.. until every child can read and write ...
Fokal logo by Sean Finnigan
Ride with FOKAL for Haiti
letter from Friends of FOKAL


Click & Support

The Haitian Art featured below is courtesy of You do not need to send us anything, just click on one of the paintings below from our website to buy a beautiful Haitian painting and by doing so, you will be helping Haiti. A percentage of your purchase will go to Friends of FOKAL.


letter from Friends of FOKAL

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Theory of Change

FOKAL strives to build a just and durable democratic society by supporting the autonomy and dignity of individuals, especially kids, youth, and women. FOKAL’s programs promote the development of critical thinking, civic participation, empowerment and self-expression on the premise that no community can tolerate injustice when its members are armed with a voice, self-esteem and a critical mind.

Strategies for Positive Change

There are seven different initiatives in place but those in dire need of funding are the Community Libraries and water projects.

Community Library Water Project
Art  & Culture EarlyChildhood
Entrepreneurship Scholarships

1. Community Libraries

Libraries are a luxury in Haiti - This project supports 35 community libraries through the purchase of materials and equipment, training and the contribution of financial resources. More than 150 library managers have been trained or are scheduled for training by the foundation. The 50 community libraries are available throughout the country. It has a collection of approximately 85,000 books and a web of more than 21,000 members. Why a library project you may ask, in a country where basic needs are lacking? Because it gives students and children alike the tools needed to further their education through reinforced learning and knowledge, without which they are condemned to a permanent life of poverty. ..Until every child can read, their existence serves as the lifeline of the community… back to top

2. Water for Life Project

In Haiti, only roughly 21% of the entire population have access to running water. The rest of the population is condemned to spend a third of the day in the search of potable water. In rural communities, that chore is mostly assigned to the extended family in the “lakou” (literally translated it means “backyard” named this way because they are the equivalent of household servants who are underpaid and reside outside of their employer’s house in the backyard); that is, assigned to children, often little girls who have to make several trips a day, often several miles-long to the nearest available water supply point and carry back, usually in buckets on their heads, the often polluted water to the household. back to top

3. Art and Culture Program

Since 1999, FOKAL has supported talented artists in the visual arts, dance and music, and contributed to the promotion of Haitian literature through support to Haitian editing houses. back to top

4. Early Childhood Program (TiPa TiPa)

TiPa TiPa/"Step by Step Haiti" is one of the formal programs of the "Foundation Konesans ak Libète" (FOKAL), one of the Soros network foundations. TiPa TiPa is a school program for children 0-12 and their families. This program offers quality and modern education opportunities to children from disadvantaged environments using an individualized child-centered approach, and encourages participation from families and local communities.

To date (2006) the TiPa TiPa program has :
built 5 model preschools;
assisted 7 schools in the renovation of their preschool building and general facilities;
equipped twelve schools with developmentally appropriate classroom furniture;
provided educational materials (grade one and two) for preschool to 15 schools;
trained teachers from twenty-eight schools on educational strategies for preschool students. In general, teachers of these schools are not only introduced to the child-centered approach, but are also given instruction on teaching methods for mathematics, experimental sciences, social sciences, art, Creole and language development, and French as a second language

Issues concerning health, nutrition and hygiene are also introduced in the training to teachers, children, families and other interested community members. In addition, families receive specific training in organizational skills and strategies for supporting learning activities at home.
TiPa TiPa is poised to create a positive forum for discussion of education change in Haiti. back to top


"Flame of Hope, Roots of Hope, Shooting Star, Light of Tomorrow are the names of a few community libraries in Haiti, very symbolic titles that all seem to convey the wish that free access to books will one day change the culture of the country. Other libraries chose names of famous Haitian writers such as Jacques Stephen Alexis, Oswald Durand… Names of recently deceased Haitian personalities who played a role in the struggle for justice and democracy, such as Jean Pierre-Louis (a Priest) or Monique Calixte….”
Elizabeth Pierre-Louis, Director, Library Program, FOKAL (quote and map below from article “Haiti’s community Libraries/A new trend in public access to books," American Libraries, August 1, 2004, No. 7, Vol. 35; Pg. 48; ISSN: 0002-9769)
Map of Haiti
Map provided by the University of
Texas Austin online collection
Community Libraries supported by FOKAL.
The large one symbol above Port-au-Prince,
the Capital City, represents a group of 12 distinct libraries.
National Library and Provincial Branches
Alliances Françaises’ libraries

“In spite of the very harsh conditions… the vitality, strength, creativity and sense of humor in the face of adversity of the Haitian people never cease to astonish. Foreign visiting professors, teachers, training, are struck by a passion for learning and a tremendous will among children and youth of the marginalized majority to surmount all obstacles and handicaps to access knowledge and understanding of things."
Lorraine Mangones, Executive Director, FOKAL

6. Educational Grants

In 1999, the foundation launched a program supporting further studies for individuals showing academic excellence-targeting students from deprived backgrounds and recommended by our partner institutions. back to top

7. Debate Program

The debate program is based on oratory debates, conducted as a game and played by teams of young people. Its objective is to convince a neutral party third party, the judge, that your team is better than the other team. It originates from the ancient art of formal oratory debates going back to the Greco-Latin tradition. It reminds kids that there is great value in learning through games, instill the notion of democracy in discourse, and adds a little semblance of fun and dignity in their lives. This project started as a European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (IEDDH). Since September 10, 2005, it has been financed by the European Union, and aims to create debate clubs in libraries, centre de lecture et d'animation culturelle (CLAC) - cultural centers, and alliances Françaises, so that the program can be made accessible to a larger public and outside of the restrictive school system. back to top
Library being built
Library being built