Lakou Lape is building a more peaceful Haiti by transforming violence and conflict starting from the individual, to communities, and to Haitian society as a whole.
Lakou Lape envisions a peaceful and prosperous Haiti through the forging and deepening of human relationships across deep cleavages to collectively build a society that is more inclusive, equitable and just.
Lakou Lape remembers and honors histories of the traditional lakou and respectfully brings together (ransanble) Haiti’s children as family in the lakou in order to dream and collectively construct a peaceful and just Haiti.
LKLP’s as a lakou/family respects the individual and values individual transformation as crucial to the process of peacebuilding. Individuals build peaceful communities, which then build a more peaceful society.
The word lakou in Haitian Creole literally means a central outdoor space or courtyard. It also denotes a rural system of inherited land where multiple generations would live together in a configuration that emerged after emancipation and in resistance to slavery and exploitation. Historical sociologist, Jean Casimir described the collective ownership of the space as “counter plantation practice” and anthropologist and writer Gerard Barthélemy called it “an egalitarian system without a state”.
The lakou was created as a space where people could collectively resist, but where people could maintain their individual autonomy, where members of the lakou had equal access to dignity, pride and reinforced their identity, while also forging a common identity. It was a space that maintained peace, promoted a unique sense of mutual social responsibility and cared for the well-being of every member.