WORK is a nonprofit organization that helps families in the community of Menelas, Haiti secure employment opportunities. WORK aims to give these families and their communities permanent paths out of poverty through education, healthcare and employment.
In 2010, CEO Ian Rosenberger founded WORK in response to the devastating effects of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that ripped through Haiti that year. Ian traveled to Port-au-Prince to assist with the relief effort and saw not only the immediate effects of destruction, but the effects of systemic poverty, a lack of education and healthcare. Menelas, a particularly hard-hit community in the northwestern outskirts of Port-au-Prince, became the base of operations for WORK. 10 years later, WORK still serves Menelas, and has teams in Port-au-Prince, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. The non-profit began with five families and has now assisted over 82 families.
WORK’s aim for the families in Menelas is to place two household members in jobs that pay a livable wage; twice the minimum wage in their area. WORK and its sister organization, First Mile, find job placements within the community. WORK also supports those interested in entrepreneurship through business education programs. Along with providing themselves with a job, these entrepreneurs help employ others. WORK feels that helping families start businesses allows the community to answer its own needs.
The challenges of systemic poverty cannot be solved solely with job placements. WORK also prioritizes finding and providing healthcare and education for participating families. WORK partners with Hospital Fontaine to provide healthcare for families, helping to cover medical expenses and eliminate barriers to access. The non-profit takes a similar approach to Haiti’s majority private education system by providing tuition payments for children and other resources like transportation, supplies and textbooks.
In winter 2020, Adda Coffee & Tea partnered with WORK to raise money through our non-profit partnership program. Our baristas created a latte similar to a cremas (also spelled kremas), a popular Haitian drink similar to eggnog traditionally made with cream of coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and lime. Adda’s cafe cremas was a latte with espresso, milk and notes of orange, cinnamon, almond and vanilla. 100 percent of the profits from each from the latte went toward building a community garden in Menelas. The garden is an agricultural teaching tool for students learning to plant rice beds, growing vegetables and composting.
Adda is proud to do the work with WORK to help our global community thrive. ]
All images courtesy of @dinelaofficial.