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We are not here because its an easy job, we are here because the job is hard and someone has to do it

Second Customs inspection

Haiti is not easy and everyone who works here knows it. JE is lucky to have such a great staff and community but we don’t always get lucky in the larger Haitian community.

Yes, this is an update on our solar panel project. It is a sad update but we haven’t given up yet. Even with a straight forward project like this, there are so many nuances.

We have been trying for 8 months to get our solar panels out of customs. We have pretty much lost this shipment due to corruption in the Customs office. In the beginning there were solid partnerships. The nuns had said yes to accepting the shipment but at the last minute the catholic brothers said no. So we searched quickly for a new partner to accept a shipment. A Jacmel Senator said yes to helping us, but put us under an organization that cannot accept shipments tax free. It was too late to change anything and the new organization had problems with their legal paperwork. When Customs sees problems with paperwork, they go in for the kill.

Customs has lied on two of our inspections and used those lies against us. Saying because the inventory counts (that they lied about) don’t match, we must be selling them and therefor deserve to pay 30% market value for them. We have provided documentation to prove we are giving the panels away for free to benefit the community, to no avail. Someone must want our panels.

But we are not doing any of this work because it is easy. We do it because its hard. And even though almost all is but lost, we are meeting with people this weekend to discuss any further actions we may take to insure we receive this shipment. Wish us luck because the fight is not over yet.

New Building

Finding the Room

Where does the homework happen? Where does the dialogue and exchange of ideas happen that is crucial to expanding our concept of the world around us and how we can affect it? Where do the motivated students and members who do not want to stop, continue their work?

We would not be successful if we didn’t have community of idea and change makers. It is a challenge in our current building. We only have 3 classrooms and a small area that fits 4 or 5 people by a window. As most of the classrooms are occupied between 3 pm and 7 pm, the community hangs out in this tiny space. This is where the exchange of ideas and where real innovation happens.

At times we have 7 or more people doing homework on computers, having meetings, editing films, visiting friends, planning projects and so much more. Our community cannot thrive and excel without healthy social spaces to collaborate in. The new building has a large hall and a garden where our community can sit together and plan how they can improve their town. In the my previous job, I worked with a team to create a development plan to improve facilities for a university and social spaces was one our more important focus topics.

Please help our youth rise up and achieve seemingly impossible dreams! Click here to see more about the new building. And join our community of support by donating today.