The kind of democratic leadership that Beyond Borders is investing in is different from traditional top-down leadership that favors the powerful and privileged.

The leadership we are nurturing in Haiti engages the oppressed and excluded. While they don’t make the headlines, grassroots leaders are quietly emerging from the 75,000 activists Beyond Borders has trained.

These leaders – including survivors of domestic violence and child servitude – are building movements to overcome poverty and prevent violence that are transforming Haiti from the bottom up.

Some, like Jadelle, are even rising to fill the ranks of local government. They give us hope for Haiti’s future.

Jadelle is Elected Mayor

Training Future Leaders

Authoritarian classroom management enforced via corporal punishment, shaming and humiliation is the norm in Haitian classrooms. Beyond Borders is supporting an effort to train teachers in a nonviolent approach to classroom management.

The goal is to teach students leadership and democracy by empowering them to develop class rules and manage their own behavior. Teachers then hold students accountable to the standards that they themselves established. The approach gives students the opportunity to practice democracy rather than simply be responsive to authoritarian rule, preparing them to be better citizens and leaders as adults.

Students at more than 90 schools on Lagonav Island are now being taught by teachers using this approach, pioneered by our friends at the Matènwa Community Learning Center.

Since the training, in just a small amount of time, we have completely changed how we treat our students. Now I know that a stick has no place in a school.

Peter Watson Laguerre, School Principal