An exciting new opportunity is taking shape in off the waters of the Carribbean Sea. SUNY has started a collaborative partnership in Haiti to create a new wave of sustainable living initiatives. But what does that mean exactly?
We can start by asking ourselves, what is sustainability? What is development? How do these terms intersect, and how are they applied in different global contexts? SUNY is exploring this interaction in new ways that have the potential to impact how we view development challenges in communities around the world. How do communities meet their independence goals and provide all the components—food, clean water, shelter, healthcare, education—their residents need not only to survive but to be healthy and thrive?
Collaborative partnerships guided by local communities hold the key to exploring sustainability. A new and exciting SUNY project that underscores this example is now making its way to Akayè, Haiti, thanks to a recent partnership between 10 SUNY schools and five not-for-profit organizations that together are creating a Sustainable Village & Learning Community (SVLC) in the island nation. In addition to SUNY’s and not-for-profit involvement and support, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded a critical grant to launch the project and has pledged to remain involved in the mission to help Haiti grow.
Together, with critical local partners, SUNY is working to implement a sustainable model of education and social sustainability for Haiti.
Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.