ACTIVEH was founded to address weaknesses in Haiti’s higher education system. First, Haitian universities offer students few, if any, opportunities to contribute to community and volunteer activities despite students’ high energy and potential. In the classroom, teaching methods focus more on theories than the realities of the communities and therefore fail to involve students in real-world problem solving and activities that allow them to participate in the development of their communities. Second, university students in Haiti have limited access to practical experience to supplement their classroom education and prepare them to enter the workforce.
The Volunteering and Community Service Program: ACTIVEH recruits students from licensed Haitian universities, on a membership basis, and offers members opportunity to engage in a range of leadership, personal and professional development activities that can make them better professionals and trigger their commitment to work for their communities and Haiti as a whole. Launched in 2014, ACTIVEH has already recruited 200 students from 10 universities in Haiti, who now work a variety of projects: mentorship and tutoring for secondary students, critical thinking activities with primary school students in disadvantaged areas, environmental education and urban reforestation campaign for youth, basic care and cleaning services for elderly and people with disabilities, etc.
The Internship Program: Each year, ACTIVEH contacts for-profit and nonprofit institutions across Haiti to identify internship opportunities that can allow Haitian college students to gain practical experience to complement their studies. This program was initiated in summer 2013 with a pilot phase where 10 students were placed in internship. ACTIVEH placed more than 130 students in internship in 8 of the 10 Haiti’s geographical departments during the three following years. This innovative program allows university students to be confronted to real world problems and to develop the soft skills that are not taught in the classroom. Also haitian institutions have a strong database of talents that can support their development. It connects students with potential employers and facilitate their transition into the workplace.
The Leadership and Professional Development Program: Through this program, ACTIVEH complements students’ university curriculum by providing additional training on workforce preparation, leadership, group dynamics, entrepreneurship, management principles, etc. necessary for them to reach their full potential and be more competitive on the market place. Initiated in 2015, this program includes an English club. In 2016, 7 monitors provided 616 volunteer hours of uplifting meetings of the club, planning of an excursion and facilitating a workshop as part of the regular Program. Participants claim they were astounded by the design of the Program, the commitment of the monitors and the originality of the proposed activities. Over 245 participants attended the training sessions in 2016.