Anacaona Dessalines Boxing Institute

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Anacaona Dessalines Boxing Institute: A Fighting Chance

Port-Aux Prince, HaitiPort-Aux Prince, Haiti
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

A Fighting Chance is a project of Anacaona Dessalines Boxing Institute (ADBI). Our vision is to promote superior leadership and warrior spirit in youths marginalized by poverty and illiteracy on the streets of Haiti.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if mixed martial arts were a way to seduce street kids with military general Sun Tzu's ideals and to think in strategic terms of solutions to crippling socio-economic and environmental issues?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

A fighting Chance addresses the marginalization of Haiti's boys and girls who live in abject poverty and neglect and whom otherwise might make better leaders for tomorrow. Young girls and boys from poor families have only two options. They become beggars on dirty street corners or become child slaves (reste-avec) before they turn 8 years old. The majority of these youths fall prey to human trafficking and contract STDs.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

A Fighting Chance combines mixed martial arts, literacy and nutrition in a single seamless programme and is the first of its kind to be implemented in Haiti. 1) We create an inner-city gym (a haven) for boys and girls from 8 to 18 years of age. 2) We recruit professional athletes in mixed martial arts as volunteers. 3) We hone the mental and physical energies of the youths. 4) We provide basic reading, writing and math sessions. 5) We provide nutritional meals. ABDI strongly believes that A Fighting Chance is the innovative approach for a lasting and sustainable dialogue that crosses socioeconomic barriers.


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Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A Fighting Chance provides competitive mixed martial arts training free of charge to struggling families so that fewer children will fall prey to begging, human trafficking, slavery and crime. 1) We recruit 100 boys and girls from 8 to 18 years of age for competitive training. Previously, they had low self-confidence and social visibility. 2) They are challenged physically and mentally to transform their thoughts and actions. 3) They are taught to read, write and perform basic mathematics. 4) Their hungry minds and bodies are fed with nutritional meals. What is the outcome? 100 thoughtful leaders and athletes are created who will serve as role models to their community. ADBI plans to expand to other cities as we gain more traction.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

This Christmas 2015, ADBI provided gift boxes to 50 household that contain: laundry soap, bath soap, uncooked rice, beans, pasta and chicken) as our launching party. While we await the 501c3 status, we work in close partnership and under the umbrella of The Perfect Storm Charities based in Boca Raton, which conducts research and provide treatments for children who suffer from autism. ADBI plans to focus on the competitive development of 100 youths at a time and to expand to cities outside of Port-Aux-Prince as it gains more traction. Future impact of A fighting chance is to have created children that are better equipped for success in their local communities or, alternatively, champion athletes for the world stage. These youths will have a strong sense of self-identity, responsibility, accountability and vision.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In year 1, We'll open the first gym in Port-Aux-Prince and actively recruit 100 girls and boys for the project. We will also recruit volunteer staff. In year 2, we will increase our membership in Port-Aux-Prince to 300 and expand to the city of Artibonite. By year 5, we'll include the cities of Jacmel and Port-De-Paix. A total of 4 gyms that will increase our platform for competition. ADBI would have been the first pioneer of philanthropic athleticism in Haiti. our success in reducing crime, securing communities and producing leaders will inspire organizations to follow suit.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The plan for ADBI's financial sustainability are multi-fold: 1) paid course offerings to the general public (yoga, kickboxing, dance, cardio). 2) build coalition with local communities and government for ongoing support. 3) engage in targeted fund raising activities locally and internationally. 4) Collect funds via our website and social media channels. 5) sell ADBI branded materials locally and internationally.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is no such philanthropic athleticism in Haiti. Organized Martial arts and boxing are the sports for the rich. Socioeconomic issues like illiteracy or hunger are addressed in isolation. There are very few resources available to the children of the poor and fewer still capture their imagination or the imagination of the people. ADBI's philosophy is the first such to transform the present and future development of impoverished youths as part of a strategic engine of thought and action in a competitive world. The turn-around is not false hope but mastery for opportunity and leadership.

Founding Story

My grandmother, Rose-Annie Andre, is now 94 years old. Her mother died of unknown causes when she was only 10. Days before her death, my great-grandmother left her with what she thought was a good family. My grandmother became a reste-avec child slave at the age of 10. And so did her three other sisters who were even younger than her. All three are alive today and, through their children, live better lives. Still, neither of these elder women are literate. The read familiar verses of the bible but can't make sense of anything else. To sign their name, they cross the signature line with an "x". Nobody offers to the poor children a fighting chance.


Here are the current members and board members of Anacaona Dessalines Boxing Institute (ADBI): Valerie Romande, Founder, is a Haitian-American entrepreneur and technology consultant who works for a major USA healthcare company. She made South Florida her home over 26 years ago. Mathsa Vital, Co-Founder, is the owner of Mam Saveur Local, a food company based in Port-Aux-Prince, Haiti Jean-Mario Pierre, MD, Board Member, is an American Board Certified physician in Anti-Aging and Restorative Medicine. Mary Skeirik, Board Member, is the President of Boca Raton based non-for-profit, A Perfect Storm Charity, dedicated to the research and treatment of autism in children. Gerald Vital, board member, is a young entrepreneur, sports enthusiast and youth advocate. He lives and breathes for a better Haiti. We plan to recruit board members and volunteers from sports organizations in the USA and the Carribbean.