Thank you for a successful and fun 9th annual fundraiser!

Thank you for a successful and fun 9th annual fundraiser!

2017 DC 9th Annual Fundraiser—Back to Our Roots

Click RIGHT and LEFT to scroll through the photos.

Have any questions about Roots of Development or our annual event? Or interested in any of the art (metal work or paintings) that was available that evening? Write to us at

Thank you for your continued support!

APDAG reaches another significant milestone!

Our local community partner APDAG, just reached another significant milestone in their journey to greater organizational capacity and independence. They have successfully completed repayment of a US$5,000 loan we lent them when they started their transportation business!

With your support a couple years ago, we raised money to help APDAG buy a truck and start a transportation business. However, after the truck had been bought, they needed more money to alter it, to make it functional for the type of transportation they were going to be doing. They needed money to cut off the boxed back of the truck, lift the truck up off its frame more to give it greater clearance over the rocky terrain on La Gonave, and to build an open iron basket-like back. We spent time discussing what it means to take on a loan and eventually drafted up an agreement. Both parties signed the agreement and Roots lent them the money (US $5,000).

They just finished paying back the loan and sent a thank you letter to Roots for providing them with the opportunity. It is pretty exciting and a real milestone as far as their capacity goes. A real example of “Development without Dependency”!

Exciting Updates For You!

Roots of Development

Interested in what Roots of Development has been up to?
Here are some exciting updates…

1. The construction of 4 new homes for families who lost them in Hurricane Matthew is almost complete.

​2. I
n partnership with Parsons School of Design, our local community partners will be installing another set of solar street lamps on the island this May.

3. The award-winning Haitian band RAM is coming to Washington D.C. to perform at our annual event, Saturday, June 17th. The event will sell out! Get your t
ickets now at

4. We have a new staff member, Field Director Lineda Paul, and will soon have our own office and meeting space, as well as sleeping accommodations on La Gonave, to support the growth of our activities on the island.

5. We are preparing to carry out a 3-5 year municipal development plan with the local mayor's office and La Gonave's civil society. If you are interested in learning more or potentially supporting this project, contact us at

More details about each below…

Many exciting projects...

We are helping our local partners build new homes

Hurricane Matthew completely destroyed the homes of 805 families on La Gonave. It was a tremendous amount of damage and a huge setback for one of the most challenged parts of Haiti. Immediately after the hurricane we began working hard to ensure the Haitian government and the international community responsible for the relief effort would not forget about La Gonave and include it in the national relief and reconstruction plan. It has been included by name, but even after having two of our projects for La Gonave approved and the international community raising over $25 million for relief efforts, very little has gone to La Gonave and we have received no funding for the community projects that were approved. In fact, we are being told the $25 million has already been spent, and that it is unlikely more will be raised…leaving La Gonave and those 805 families without support.

So we are pushing forward, as always, and using the funds you helped us raise after the hurricane to rebuild as many homes as that support allows. Our local partners are about to complete the construction of four new homes for four families who were identified as being in greatest need. We hope to help more families rebuild in the near future.

Four new homes soon to be completed.


Another installation of solar street lamps with Parsons School of Design

Professor Chad Groshart and a group of students from Parsons School of Design in NYC will be traveling to Haiti in May to help install another set of solar street lamps. This will be the second time Parsons is working with Roots of Development to help communities on La Gonave sustainably address their lighting needs. The lamps installed last year are being used by the community to come together after dark, help local merchants sell their products, and students study at night after the sun has gone down.

A new set of solar street lamps will soon be installed.


Join us at our exciting annual event in Washington D.C. on June 17th

JOIN US at our 9th annual event!

Every year, diverse and influential guests gather in Washington D.C. to celebrate Haiti and support Roots of Development’s unique approach to development.

Last year sold out, and we expect the same to happen this year. Tickets are already on sale, including a limited amount of "early bird" discount tickets (until May 1st), so get yours now.

Eventbrite - Roots of Development's 9th Annual Fundraiser in Washington DC

One of the real highlights of this year's event is going to be the live performance from the award-winning Haitian band RAM. RAM has been one of the prominent bands in the mizik rasin musical movement in Haiti and is well known for its Thursday night performances at the Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince.


With a live performance by RAM


A new team member and field office in Haiti

To help us manage our expansion of activities on La Gonave, we have hired a new full-time staff in Haiti, Ms. Lineda Paul. Lineda comes to us after having worked many years for the international organization TECHO. She will serve as our Field Director and be responsible for expanding our programs on La Gonave, helping our local partners implement projects, and measure their impact and growth in capacity. 

Help us welcome the newest member of our staff Lineda Paul

We will also soon have office and meeting space on La Gonave, so that we can appropriately support the two large projects we have coming up later in the year. As we expand our efforts on the island, we begin working with more communities and more local leaders. Having our own office and meeting space, and accommodations, will be cost effective and allow us to better serve our partners. 

Two upcoming large local capacity-building development projects 

We have begun working with two Haitian partner organizations to bring two very exciting leadership development and community capacity-building programs to the island of La Gonave. We will be working with one of the organizations, CLE (Le Centre Haitien du Leadership et de L'Excellence), to carry out trainings and workshops with 70 local leaders from around the island (35 of which will be women). We will focus on strengthening skills related to leadership, economic development, and civic engagement. 

Two exciting upcoming community development projects

We are in the final stages of planning a second, longer project we hope to carry out with our partners CEFCAD (Centre de Formation Citoyenne et d Appui au Developpement). The project will be in partnership with the mayor's office of Anse-a-Galets. We will be working with the mayor and La Gonave's civil society to strengthen governance and increase local ownership of the development process. The 18-month project will result in a 3-5 year official development plan for the municipality. The development plan will be developed entirely by local residents and leaders, printed, and available to all parties interested in helping La Gonave explore its greatest opportunities and address its greatest needs, as identified by them. 





Roots of Development is a 501c3 organization that is audited annually by an independent CPA.

Initial Assessment of Damage on La Gonave after Hurricane Matthew

Here is the initial assessment of the damage on La Gonave after Hurricane Matthew, compiled by the island’s government representatives. One version is in Creole and one is in English. A final assessment has not yet been completed because some locations have been hard to reach, but it is clear from the initial report that the damage is already extensive. Over 1,000 homes destroyed and another 6,000 damaged. Our estimate is that over a third of the island’s infrastructure has been impacted.




Guidelines for Helping in the Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

1. Wait for the Needs- Wait for formal assessments from the government and from local organizations with already established relationships on the ground.


2. Work Within the System- Work under the direction of local government officials and/or with organizations that understand the needs and already have systems in place on the ground.


3. Raise or Give Cash and Give Locally- Funds (instead of goods) can get to those in need faster and more cheaply, and can always respond to the greatest need of the moment. Collected goods can be costly to transport, not fulfill a specific need, prevent needed goods from getting where they need to go, and undermine the local economy.


4. Few Volunteer Opportunities- Like unsolicited collected goods, untrained volunteers can clog the system and undermine the work of established relief organizations. If you do fit (can fill) a need, make sure you are wanted, your arrival is known beforehand, and that the logistics surrounding your trip are worked out in advance (i.e. transportation, lodging, and access to food/water).


5. Don’t Work Alone- Try to combine forces with other groups wanting to help in order to avoid duplicating efforts or overwhelming those on the ground.



Raise funds and foster community awareness of established organizations!