All of Lakou Lape’s programs are focused on growing the peaceful lakou. We have taken lessons learned in our ongoing Peaceful Communities Program, to start a more comprehensive Peace Process. Acknowledging that the future is in the hands of Haiti’s youth, we continue to focus on youth and their communities to support and inspire them to create the peaceful and more just Haiti that is a part of their dreams. Within this network, LKLP promotes that another Haiti is possible and that they have an important role in building it.
Building Peaceful Communities:
Sustainable peace can only be achieved through the transformation of conflict and violence starting at the individual, then the individual within their communities, then to the transformation of Haitian society as a whole. LKLP has seen the effects of our work in a peace process that resulted in peaceful elections in 2015/2016 in Martissant.
In 2013 – peace process was initiated in St. Martin and Bel Air
In 2015 – peace process was initiated in Martissant, Nan Cocteau, and Carrefour.
IN 2018 – peace process was initiated in Miragoane and Arcahaie
These community peace processes include multiple aspects, and different tools are provided to different communities based on what is the most appropriate. The process seeks to engage members of different sectors with a priority on youth leaders and community leaders. Other sectors include local and national level political actors, members of the private sector, members of armed groups and of other sectors of Haitian society. The trainings and dialogues that are a part of peace processes may include:
– Conflict Analysis: In order to conduct an assessment of conflict realities including data collection and mapping.
– Conflict Transformation: Because a situation of violent conflict can be very different from one neighbourhood to another, determining what is necessary in that particular situation is important.
– Trauma Healing Processes/ Trauma Transformation/Healing Circles – to promote healing and ways to deal with ongoing trauma and to work towards peace within oneself and break the cycles of re-traumatization.
– Facilitation techniques: Including transformative mediation and dialogue circles, as well as inter-neighborhood dialogues including multiple sectors.
– Civic Education: Focused on rights and responsibilities of citizens
– Gender-Based Violence
– Economic Empowerment: Small business and enterprise development
The Peace Process – Multi-Track/Multi-Sector Dialogues
With the multiple, ongoing processes of building Peaceful Communities, LKLP is engaging in a larger process in Port-au-Prince to address the issues of conflict and violence in Haiti. The sectors that are being engaged through various methodologies include members of grassroot organizations/communities, private sector, civil society (local NGOs, human rights organizations, etc), journalists and the media, and the political sector. The process began in 2020 and has included each sector collectively determining what they believe the root causes of violence in Haiti to be and what are the possible solutions and then exchanging around those ideas with the other sectors. The process is characterized by relationship building between the individuals from the different sectors, and the objective is to bring them closer together despite vast differences, encouraging empathy, healing, trust, and generosity to work towards a different Haiti. It also allows the participants to see where individually and collectively they might have the power to affect change themselves either immediately or in the future.
The facilitation process of the private and political sectors is supported by the Glencree Center for Peace and Reconcilitation, a long-term partner of LKLP.
Youth Leadership Network
Lakou Lape continues to build a cadre of young leaders in marginalized communities. These young leaders are trained as part of the building of Peaceful Communities become a part of the Youth Leadership Network which currently includes: 28 in Bel Air, 32 in Saint martin, 25 in Nan Cocteau.
In addition to the Peaceful Communities trainings, the youth leadership network members also have available to them:
– Training on Konbitism: This is done in partnership with Cite Soleil’s movement Konbit Soley Leve (Collective of the Rising Sun) and based on the principles of Konbit, a traditional countryside configuration of shared and collective labor rooted in agriculture, but has been inspiration for other modern iterations of collective labor.
– Solidarity Economy: Which also includes entrepreneurship training and sometimes seed money for collective business creation and development.
– Professional Courses: Intended to increase skills needed to gain formal employment including: Auto Mechanic, window frame construction, office computer skills, programming skills, air conditioning and refrigeration, tile installation, production of household chemical cleaning materials, food and beverages, etc.
– Support in the realization of peacebuilding projects:
– Local Tourism: A program where youth from different marginalized, popular neighborhoods visit each other and pass a day of “tourism” and recognizing the beauty that exists in each other’s ‘Ghettos”. This started between the youth of Ti Bwa and Cite Soleil and continued driven by Lakou Lapè and the youth that had intitially affectionately coined it “Ghetto Tourism”.
Video on “Local Tourism”:
Lakou Builders/ Facilitators & Trainers
Over the years, LKLP has built a group of facilitators and trainers who work in diverse communities. Many are from the communities where LKLP has worked to create peaceful communities and are selected by other facilitators and community leaders. Training facilitators is a way in which LKLP plants seeds to increase peacebuilding efforts. These facilitators and trainers frequently become stronger leaders in their communities and begin to build bridges between different communities.
Currently, there is not a nationally recognized facilitator training program. Although, each has different levels of training, many are highly trained with various tools to create space for dialogue and healing that works towards sustained peace. These skills can always be fine tuned, and the trainers and facilitators need to brush up for increase their capacity as required by the situation in Haiti and the work of building peace.
Some of the trainers have included:
- Glencree Center for Peace and Reconciliation: Dialogue Facilitation, Insider Mediation, Conflict Transformation
- WOZO – Trauma Healing Process & Restorative Justice – WOZO (Gardy Michel)
- Psychologues du Monde
- Mike Gaston – Independent Mediator out of Northern Ireland and a facilitator in the peace process there.