IMPACT HAITI /.02302015
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
Haiti is a country with a multitude of critical problems to solve and numerous barriers to effectively adhere to with a systematic and sustainable way. With over 57% of the population between the ages of 13 and 55, Haiti is a very youthful country with few resources and opportunities for this large demographic. National and local agencies in Haiti have attempted to address youth development issues, including the construction of sports/recreation venues and the development of programs related to arts and culture. However, the recent earthquake in 2010 dealt a significant blow to these efforts. Many of these infrastructural developments in metro Port-au-Prince either collapsed or were severely damaged. While the southern peninsula of Les Cayes was not physically affected by the earthquake, it faces significant reverberations as displaced people sought safe havens away from the disorder in the capital.
While the city of Les Cayes has a rich cultural and agricultural history, the booming youth population in the region has been deprived of opportunities due to lack of safe and accessible venues for recreation, socialization, and education. Les Cayes has seen a major post-quake surge in school age youth, as tens of thousands of children and families fled to this unaffected area of the country. While the need was present before the quake, this upturn in youth further exacerbates the urgent need for sports, arts, and cultural resources for children of the area.
Gateway will work collaboratively with IMPACT North America, an organization dedicated to improving the livelihoods of the people of Les Cayes region through interactive local-diaspora engagement and collaborative exchange. Aligning with IMPACT’s action-oriented approach, we will develop a proposals for a youth sports and arts center to address issues of equal accessibility, community-participatory design, socio-economic and ecological sustainability. The establishment of this center will serve as catalyst for the efforts of IMPACT North America to implement youth development and education programs and services more broadly throughout the country.