Our mission is to combine the tools of
technology and education in partnership with existing schools in Haiti.
By doing so, we seek to create a structure of opportunity that will
interrupt the cycle of poverty and clear the path for
future economic and civic leaders.
In working towards this mission, we have developed key principles guiding our work. These core values and strategies were chosen to ensure all we do strives towards being effective, sustainable, and equitable.
- Community Capacity Development: Instead of managing immediate crises and providing food or medication, we focus on solutions that improve the living conditions of the Haitians we serve in the long-term. We want to provide tools of self aid that allow the people to shape their society from within. Rather than creating dependencies on developmental aid, we work towards self-sufficiency through providing a range of educational efforts boosting knowledge, skills, and strategic thinking necessary for a well-functioning economy and peaceful society.
- Partnering with Existing Schools: We partner with existing schools and orphanages to utilize and strengthen established structures and avoid brick-and-mortar expenses, which allows us to use our resources more effectively. We work together with individuals known and respected as leaders in the Jeremie community and are in close communication with the principals and teachers. This collaborative effort is mutually beneficial. We have the opportunity to make a sustainable impact while using and improving the infrastructure already in place, and they can benefit from and shape the programs we initiate, which is much more cost-efficient, sustainable, and less intrusive than building new schools.
- Dialogue on Eye Level: We employ Haitians to run the projects and work collaboratively with local schools and teachers, finding out what their needs are and helping them to meet them. Locals are the ones who know their community best and know what works and what does not. It is very important to Tek4Kids that this be a Haitian driven endeavor, creating a sense of pride among Haitians for their accomplishments. Tek4Kids hopes to empower the people we work with and help foster the growth of civic leaders who can transform their own country and take charge of their own future; we want to support and empower, but never impose.
- Utilizing Multiplier Effects: We work with people who carry the knowledge or skills they learn to many more throughout the community. In our computer labs, for example, we offer evening classes for teachers from all over the city to enhance their access to information and teaching materials, which benefits many more students than we could not reach directly. In addition, we share our laptops with the local nursing and secretary colleges, allowing them to train their students on crucial equipment to develop skill sets they can later use in their careers to improve the effectiveness of hospitals and administration departments. We also host summer sessions in the U.S. for our education staff and partner school delegates. As carriers of knowledge, the participants have swiftly taken these lessons back to their classrooms in Jeremie where positive changes are already visible.
- Cooperation with other NGOs: We are continuously building relationships and working with other nonprofits to ensure we provide the best services possible to the people in Haiti. Through sharing resources such as know-how, equipment, and problem-solving strategies, we produce synergistic effects that exceed the impacts we could achieve working alone.
- Continuity & Reliability: When we implement a water purification system or other project in Haiti, we make sure that we can supply long-term support of those efforts to ensure the programs continue in absence of the U.S. team. With our well-trained Haitian teams working with partner schools on a daily basis, the schools have contacts in their city to maintain and repair the equipment. Ninety percent of problems occurring are solved by our local team independently, and through taking a picture and sending it via email to our back-up knowledge network in the U.S., we have been able to tackle issues promptly and effectively.
- Knowledge Networks: Within the last couple of years, we have built networks of expertise supporting us and our partners to develop and continuously improve our efforts. We are exchanging technical and strategic know-how with other organizations both in the U.S. and on the ground in Haiti. In addition, we work with university professors as well as active and retired teachers to enhance our teaching techniques and multiple schools sharing their experience gathered through working with iPads in the classroom. Regarding the IT field, we are blessed with amazing volunteers who bring years of experience to their work with Tek4Kids. Many of them have retired from notable careers in computing, systems engineering, and management, giving their time and expertise to develop and adapt our programs.
- Non-denominational Approach: At Tek4Kids, we welcome everybody who wants to work with us. Each person has their own motivation for joining, and we are open to anybody who wants to become a part of our team. Tek4Kids unites people of different faiths and individuals not identifying as religious at all, as we are all coming together to work towards making the world a better place. Our projects in Haiti also strive to serve all people equally, regardless of their religion, as we believe that every person has an innate value as a human being.
- Transparency: It is important to us that our partner schools, our supporters, and the people we serve are a part of shaping our efforts and know what is going on. We are in regular communication with principals and curriculum developers to discuss strategies and exchange ideas. Within the schools, we distribute surveys to get feedback about the projects and learn from their input about what we can do better. To ensure donations are not getting lost in overhead costs within the organization, all the legal, administrative, and operational costs, as well as administration personnel salaries are paid by the Tek4Kids’ founders so that every penny donated is applied directly to projects in Haiti.