Future Generations Haiti believes that communities can learn best from their peers. While there is always a place for inspiration and innovation to come from outside sources, knowledge coming from other communities has already been tested and adapted to the local context, and often can be carried out with local resources. In addition to that, communities often feel more inspired by something their neighbors can do; if their neighborscan accomplish something with resources that are not too different from their own, it makes the goal more accessible.
Our team saw evidence of this whenever we brought communities from the WozoAyiti network together – whenever one community demonstrated what it had an expertise in (community microfinance, transforming rice into wine, rice growing techniques), other communities immediately asked for a training from them. Thanks to a grant from Humanity United and the Hawaii Community Foundation, Future Generations Haiti facilitated a series of practical exchanges across the country. A community would offer a training session, and Future Generations Haiti would teach other interested communities send representatives. In the first four months, over 200 people have been involved directly in these exchanges, which have touched over 35 organizations from 21 different communities.
Communities that learned from their peers tended to share and apply what they had learned at home rapidly, and some even continued to train others in their community and others. This demonstrates how interested communities are in learning from each other, and how practical and applicable that knowledge can be. Our team intends to continue to support peer to peer trainings and knowledge exchanges across the country.