General Secretary of the YMCA d’Haiti visits Brockton YMCA
On September 16th, General Secretary of the YMCA d’Haiti, Gwenael Apollon, visited the Brockton YMCA as part of a multi-city tour of American Ys. His visit in Brockton included a lunch presentation with Mayor Moises Rodrigues and Senator Michael Brady along with Y staff and other members of the community. He finished his time in Brockton with an afternoon session with Old Colony YMCA’s Board of Directors.
Shortly after a devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, ten YMCAs from the United States and Canada banded together with the YMCA d’Haiti to organize relief efforts and ultimately rebuild the country’s Ys. Apollon’s trip included visits with many of those partners. His trip also included local stops at the Greater Boston and Springfield YMCAs.
The program center in Jacmel that was financed by Old Colony YMCA was completed in spring 2019. However, due to civil unrest in Haiti and the political and economic tensions continuing to rise, the center has been unable to open to the community. The YMCA d’Haiti and its 11 facilities are looking forward to opening their doors again soon, but a timetable has not been established.
The building cost $35,000 to construct, with annual funding of $15,000 needed to operate the program center. Once opened the center will offer literacy programs, tutoring, camp, and sports, among other activities.
To support the efforts of the YMCA d’Haiti and the sustainability of the new program center, people can visit their website and donate here: https://www.ymca.asso.ht/welcome/donate/.
More than 15,000 Haitians live in Brockton today, which is more than 15% of the city’s population. In 2013, the Y entered into a formal partnership with the Haitian Community Partners, which has resulted in job training, youth leadership, civic engagement, and financial education initiatives.
History of YMCA d’Haiti and the impact of the 2010 earthquake
The earthquake of January 12, 2010 revealed the strength of our institution as it was able to effectively manage the World Alliance YMCA’s relief plan. It propelled our YMCA into a more aggressive second phase of development and it also made it possible for us to offer a new start to our youth immediately after the earthquake.
This natural incident also strengthened our relationship with the YMCAs of the USA through the Y-US-World Service which created the International Coalition of YMCAs in providing us with additional capabilities. In addition, the great partnership we had with Ridgewood YMCA and the Wells Mountain Foundation was transformed into an extraordinary partnership/relationship to an extent that our centers are built using containers and are para-seismic structures. In 2016, the YMCA d’Haïti served eight thousand seven hundred and fifty youth and adults in ten different communities and continues to build the capacity of youth and their parents.
As early as in the third quarter of 2016, the YMCA d’Haïti, in collaboration with its partners, created a new 2017-2020 strategic plan to guide its third phase of development. This plan includes the establishment of an Education Fund and an Emergency Reserve Fund to ensure the continuity of our programs and the construction of a modern YMCA. The Bolger and Wells Mountain Foundations, the Association of Friends of the YMCA d’Haïti, Haitians in Haiti and abroad along with the YMCA partners are the pillars upon which the YMCA d’Haïti rests for the implementation of this strategic plan and the successful completion of its third phase of development.