Opportunities to Get Involved

Opportunities to Get Involved

Roots of Development is looking for a Part-Time Financial Analyst and a Board Notetaker to support our board of directors.   These are great opportunities for people who wish to support and become more involved with the organization!


Part-Time Financial Analyst

Position Details: We are recruiting an outstanding undergraduate/graduate student/or retiree with bookkeeping experience. We would also be open to a quick learner who knows or is willing to learn the program Quickbooks. We are in search for a volunteer with knowledge of basic bookkeeping and who would be willing to work with our Executive Director to produce quarterly reports. 5-10 hours per quarter would be the time commitment. This is an outstanding leadership opportunity in an innovative nonprofit organization, which works on projects in Haiti. Schedule flexible. Opportunity to work remotely.


Board Notetaker

Position Details: We are interested in a self-motivated, attentive volunteer to help with note taking during Board meetings. The time commitment would be only 5-6 hours four times a year. We are recruiting someone who has strong listening skills and can capture the essence of discussions and turnover minutes in a timely manner. Strong typing skills a must. This would be an excellent opportunity for someone looking to get more involved in the organization.



About UsRoots of Development’s mission is to support and promote a community-driven approach to development—an approach that is based on strengthening local capacity in order to improve the quality of life in marginalized communities. Our vision is for a world in which the very communities living in poverty are the ones leading the fight against it; a world in which impoverished communities decide their own future and manage their own development. We currently work on the island of La Gonave in Haiti.


For more information and to apply to either position, contact Jessica Desvarieux at jessica.desvarieux@gmail.com


Installation of another set of solar street lamps on La Gonave with Parsons School of Design

For the second year in a row, key locations in several communities on the island of La Gonave have been lit up with newly installed solar-powered street lamps. The new light is a product of a second collaboration between Roots of Development, a team from Parsons School of Design in New York City, and Roots’ local community partner APDAG. This year’s project built on the success of last year’s installment of five solar street lamps in key areas around the community of Gran Sous.


Chad Groshart, a professor at Parsons School of Design, teaches a graduate course on lighting in the developing world for students studying lighting, architecture, and product design. A group of his students collaborated to provide design and technical expertise for the street lamps. They also helped raise money to fund the purchase and transport of the light poles. Groshart and the students joined Roots of Development on La Gonave last month to help local community groups install the new set of lights.

The street lamps are solar powered, and have controllers which allow them to turn on automatically when it starts getting dark. Around 6:30PM every evening, the lights turn on. They stay turned on at full power until midnight, at which time the controller reduces the light by half until 6:00 AM when the lamps turn off. This process helps save power by limiting the light produced when there are fewer people around and therefore less need for light.

The preparation and implementation phases of the project were led by APDAG and representatives of its various member groups. The community’s role included selecting where the street lamps would be placed, preparation of the installation site, providing materials and labor for the installation, and of course maintenance of the poles. With guidance from APDAG, residents debated the merits of possible locations for the solar street lamps. Based upon the needs of their community, they determined which spots would benefit the most from the light. Local groups were also responsible for providing cement, sand, rocks, water, and labor for the installation of each lamp.

The street lamps were purchased from a Haitian-owned company based in Port-au-Prince called ENERSA. This is the second year that ENERSA has worked on this project, as they also provided the light poles for the installation in May 2016. Every part of the light pole is locally sourced and purchased in Haiti, and is meant to have a long life span. They are made of strong durable materials, with solar panels that can last over 25 years and LED lights that will last about 10 years.

The new light has had a clear and immediate impact on the community. Small businesses have popped up under the lights, students are able to study after dark, and the community gathers to plan and discuss current events. Not only does light add to the development of an area by serving as a focal point for economic activities, it strengthens community. Immediately following the installation of the lamps, the community began gathering under the new light. They were hanging out, telling jokes, and listening to music. The influence of the new lamps is already spreading across the island, with leaders from other communities traveling to see the lamps and meeting with APDAG to learn how they might acquire similar lamps to light their own communities.

In evaluations that took place with APDAG after the completion of the project, the great majority of community members in attendance marked the project as a real success. The majority of respondents rated “project implementation” as very good or excellent, including on critical elements such as management of time, money, and materials, the efficiency of the planning process, and accomplishing the project’s objective. Excitement about the new lamps was clear at the meeting. As one resident explained, “this was only seen in our dreams before, only in dreams. Even our ancestors never could have imagined this for our community. Not our great grandparents, not our grandparents, not our parents.”

This project would not have been a success without the generous support of donors and sponsors including The New School, USAI Lighting, Vode, Mercury Lighting, and Lumenwerx. If you are interested in getting involved in Roots of Development’s work, or helping us expand this project specifically, write to us at info@rootsofdevelopment.org.

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

Thank you so much to all who came out to support us at our 9th Annual DC Fundraiser: Back to Our Roots! We are grateful for your support. This year’s event was one of our most fun and most successful events yet. That is thanks to you and to our incredible sponsors Allegis Group and IGT.

2017 DC 9th Annual Fundraiser—Back to Our Roots
Click right and left to scroll through photos from the event.

2017 DC Annual Event PHOTO BOOTH

Click right and left to see fun photos from the photo booth.

 We also want to thank our various event partners that helped us keep expenses down and the event a unique one: Telemundo (financial contribution), Boulder Shares (matching contribution), Suite Four (champagne), Galerie Monnin (artwork), Courvoisier (cocktails), Urban Petals (flowers), Station 4 Restaurant (wine), DMV Haitians and L’Union Suite (press), Cole Hogan and Gerard Kerby Boulin (photography), and the Hyatt Regency Washington (hotel).

We have lots of great art left over from the event. If you are interested in any of the metal art or paintings that were on display at the event, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Write us at info@rootsofdevelopment.org or call us at (202) 466-0805.

The 9th Annual Event Host Committee:

Alexandra Alzuphar      Anne-Christele Boigris      Astride Charles     Tricia Desvarieux

Nicole Fischer     Christian Jabon    Anouk Leger

Elodie Manuel     Jezette Pinard    Jennifer Plantin     Rudy Pressoir

Jane Charles-Voltaire    Ernest Voyard     Chris Wells

Roots of Development’s Board of Directors:

Jessica Desvarieux      James O. Martin      Jacopo Namari

Bethany Natoli      Magalie Pradel     Ernest Voyard

In fact, if you are interested in getting involved in next year’s event, either as a partner, sponsor, or as a member of the planning committee, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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 https://roots9thdcfundraiser.eventbrite.com

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 info@rootsofdevelopment.org.

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.