By Carlotta Mohamed
Launched two years ago by Shari Ruppert and her colleague Alice Smeets, Association Colibri strives for Haitian and international groups to operate as a community, focusing on people who are working to make progress in Haiti’s recovery before and after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
Under their umbrella organization Association Colibri, Ruppert and Smeets created Project Nou Pou Nou (We For Us) tracks and documents positive case stories and exemplary projects initiated by Haitian citizens that are not reported by the media. The project has been very successful with stories published in the Haitian media, becoming a series of documentary shorts.
A considerable amount of the Haitian people has become dependent on the help of western countries. Together Association Colibri and Project Nou Pou Nou can allow Haitians to “regain confidence, independence and self-esteem,” Ruppert said.
“We are aiming to strengthen their leadership capacities and to bring back a sense of responsible thinking, as well as the importance of voluntary work, to the citizens of Haiti,” Ruppert, vice-president of Association Colibri, said.
So far, team Colibri has worked with “Radio Magic 9” and Le Nouvelliste, a French-language daily newspaper printed in Port-au-Prince and distributed throughout Haiti. They’ve published a total of 46 pieces—one piece almost every week in the period of July 2013 to August 2014.
Ruppert said all communities and change makers feel much more motivated to continue after seeing and hearing the report in the Haitian media. They’re proud of their accomplishments and feel honored.
Association Colibri has also worked on other special projects as well.
A screening awareness campaign called, “Les après-midi de la decouverte,” was started in schools and colleges, in and around Port-au-Prince for the beginning of the new 2015-2016 school year.
“The objective of this initiative is to inspire students to be engaged, to motivate them to be more involved in their community by using and recognizing the resources and potential in it,” said Ruppert.
She added that they’ve worked with “Decouvrir Haiti” (Discover Haiti), an association that works in the tourist sector, organizing trips for students at a reasonable price discovering their beautiful country.
Team Colibri is also creating a booklet with 43 stories and photos, publishing a paper and online version so there is a better understanding of the individual/community involvement and success.
After working in Haiti for almost two years, Association Colibri has created a big network of students, agriculturists, and people coming from different sectors and departments of Haiti.
If given enough funding, the team will start collecting initiatives again in September of this year. An indiegogo campaign will be launched in October, and the goal is to fund the continuity of Project Nou Pou Nou, cover costs of research, printing, promotion, and excursion within the country of Haiti.
“We are not looking for problems or looking into how we can help,” said Ruppert. We focus on success and people who have showed their potential to bring Haiti forward.”