SOPUDEP (Society of Providence United for the Economic Development of Petion-Ville) is a Haitian founded and run grassroots organization located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The organizations Founder and Director is Madam Réa Dol, who to her credit, is a tireless advocate of a prosperous Haiti built on equality. SOPUDEP’s focus is on providing accessible education to adults and children, supporting children’s and women’s rights, and creating programs of economic empowerment for members of their community. They also work closely with other local organizations to help them achieve these same goals in other communities that face economic and social challenges.

Chronically poor or working class, SOPUDEP works with all strata of classes to try and help and bridge those gulfs that exists between them. SOPUDEP is a local leader, who wish for a socially responsible and engaged society, which in-turn, will lead to a unified and strong Haiti.

SOPUDEP works in the following areas:

Education

*of a K-12 school which provides free education to 80% of it’s children including a full hot lunch each day;

*a K-6 school for adults and late starters which runs in the afternoons and is completely free and unfunded at present.

*a Scholarship programe for high school graduates of SOPUDEP which is now in it’s third year. Students are studying administration, medicine, nursing, engineering

Micro-Enterprise

*a micro-credit cooperative FASA for women begun in March 2010 and moved to a new second phase in July 2014

Community Health

*a mobile clinic which provides basic medicines and care to women and children from the poor neighborhoods in which it works. The mobile clinic is run occasionally when funding allows and is fully staffed by Haitian volunteer nurses and doctors. In 2013 and 2014 there were 5 mobile clinics.

Vocational

*two vocational programs, carpentry and tailoring provide training to young men and women. The program is hopes to be fully sustainable over the next three years.

SOPUDEP’s Working Partners

Le Phare, Women’s organiziation and micro-credit partner located in Jalouzi neighborhood of Port-au-Prince

Mojub, Women’s organization, micro-credit partner, adult literacy, K-6 school located in the Bobin neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.

OBMP, Mixed adult organization [predominantly women] and micro-credit partner located in the Jalouzi neighborhood.

Aid Humanitaire, women’s group based in the internally displaced peoples[ IDP] camp at Canaan 5 in Port-au-Prince.

Chanjem Leson and CHAL, IDP and Housing Action groups based in the IDP camps Acra and Adoquin in Delmas 33, Port-au-Prince.

By the mid 1990’s, Haiti was feeling out their new sense of democratic freedoms, that until this point, had always been controlled by oppressive dictatorship governments. Activists and members of the grassroots were now free to meet and share progressive political and social ideas. It was in this time that the SOPUDEP organization was born. In  2000, SOPUDEP was to take these democratic ideals and put it into tangible action; by-way of creating social programs that would benefit their community.

Looking to support President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s mandate to increase literacy within the country, SOPUDEP’s flagship social initiative would be an Adult Literacy program.  Shortly after launching this program, SOPUDEP’s students began bringing their children and grandchildren, in hopes they too would receive a basic education. SOPUDEP Co-Founder and Director, Rea Dol, pursued the creation of a school that would provide accessible education for children from kindergarten to grade 12. Proposing the idea to international NGO’s working the area was met with resounding “NO’s” but the mayor of Pétion-Ville would give them a ten year lease on an old burned out mansion. Early funding for the school was secured by friend, journalist and filmmaker, Kevin Pina and they were able to refurbish the dilapidated  building into a functional space for education. The school opened its doors in 2002 with 140 students enrolled. At the end of 2013, it had grown to 875 students.

Over the years, SOPUDEP has branched out into other social projects, but more importantly, they have become an a symbol of hope and change in their community. From finding and distributing food to thousands of families  after the 2010 earthquake, to the economic programs they have started for both women and men alike, to the work they do day in and day out in with Haiti’s youth through education; SOPUDEP works with purpose and pride, in whatever capacity they can, to bring about positive change to their country.