Kakok - Ile-a-vache, haiti
1SW began it's first pilot program in the village of Kakok on Ile-a-Vache, Haiti. Just southwest of the mainland, Ile-a-Vache is an underdeveloped island community home to one of the last unmolested coastal ecosystems in the Caribbean. In 2013, Ile-a-Vache was declared a public utility by Haitian authorities as part of an economic growth initiative centered around ecotourism. In the intervening years homes have been razed and ecosystems destroyed to make way for hotels, airstrips, and roads. The residents of Ile-a-Vache have long suffered this type of government neglect: electricity is rare and unreliable, public clinics go unstaffed, and most of the potable water on the island is inaccessible or controlled by private corporations. Now, they are at risk of losing everything to hotel developers.
In April of 2015, the 1SW team met with local community stakeholders to assess the needs of the community. The meeting brought together youth groups and women's groups to establish a unified vision for future development, focusing on aligning concerns for the environment, the economy, and the people themselves. The result was the framework for a comprehensive plan to begin the process of reclaiming the development of Ile-a-Vache for its inhabitants. Today, over twenty of Kakok's brightest young men and women are hard at work becoming the leaders that their communities need.