What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
Haiti’s ecological development has a direct competitor which has emerged. The US government is being actively lobbied by petroleum related organizations to subsidize the introduction of LPG (propane) gas as a cooking alternative in Haiti. While LPG is generally a more ecological cooking option than traditional charcoal cooking, the lack of LPG infrastructure in Haiti, the poor road conditions in most of the country, and the fact that all LPG must be imported into Haiti, with no prospect for domestic production in the foreseeable future, makes LPG an expensive, heavily polluting, invasive, counter-productive technology introduction. The LPG industry has every right to promote itself in Haiti, and LPG has a role in larger cities as one aspect of the multiple-technology solution. However, the technology, the gas and its infrastructure should not be subsidized by the US or Haitian government as an attempted solution for deforestation or any other systemic problem. Local and sustainable programs must be developed and encouraged. Details are displayed at: https://sites.google.com/a/elfuegodelsol.com/elfuego/big_oil
DR / Haiti ecology will benefit from the visibility of the FdS projects.
Tell us about your partnerships
FdS collaborates with non-profits, corporations, government agencies, educational institutions, artists, innovators and activists toward improving the environment and society. A true Hybrid Network, we form close working relationships with for-profits and non-profits to work together to improve ecological and social environments. Collaborators include: For-profit companies: Sun Ovens International, Transcon Steel, Grupo Duarte (Legal Services and Business Development in Santo Domingo, DR), Cedano Legal Services, Elfi Wall Systems, Neptun Ultra-Efficiency Lighting, Woodgas Stoves, Architecturalhotwire.com, rebuildhaitibetter.ning.com and Dias-y-Nueve Grado Estudio Sostenible (Sustainable Architectural Design Studio); Non-profit / COOP organizations: Grupo Jaragua, Grupo CONACADO, SHE-Inc. Solar Household Energy, Global Exchange, Equal Exchange, WBEZ – Chicago Public Radio, Solar Cookers International, the William J. Clinton Foundation, The Technological University of Santo Domingo (INTEC), University of San Francisco, Faith in Place, Rise International, Bethel UCC Elmhurst, IL, The Union Church of Santo Domingo, The Zakat Foundation of America, The Natura Park Ecological Foundation, The Annual Higuey Book Fair and The Rotary Club of Higuey, DR; Government agencies: the Center for Export and Investment – DR, ProIndustrial, Dominican Customs Service, National Energy Center, The US Embassy Commercial Services Division, American Citizens Services Division of the US Consulate, Haiti government through the Building Back Better Communities program and the Green Technologies Expo.
Explain your selections
FdS was started with conscientious funding from family and friends. Our network of supporting individuals has continued to grow with visits, investments, donations, volunteering, advice and economic and educational participation opportunities. Foundations have provided us insight, networking opportunities and have been our clients for consulting work in the DR and Haiti. NGOs have partnered with us on all our major projects, from Sun Ovens, to GeoToursism, to project promotion. Since the products and services we offer tend to be licensed from US companies, we create jobs in the US, the DR and Haiti. Our model is not to outsource jobs from larger countries, rather to import tested ecological technologies to produce products locally that are used locally. This process becomes a tandem manufacturing and implementation process with the associated company in the US. Thus, US customers buy US manufactured goods, and customers geographically closer to our location, buy the licensed products from FdS. We follow Fair Trade manufacturing standards and we encourage all of our suppliers to follow them as well. We are participating in the regional and national Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Program of the US and DR governments. We are certified as a tax-free importer of renewable energy products in the DR. NGOs are our customers, so are individual consumers and beneficial geotourists. All of these concepts are new business models and feature US innovation and ecological technology. The more inventive and successful our programs, the more health-saving products we can provide.
How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?
By channeling the multi-sector economic developmental engines of: health, innovative technologies, social entrepreneurs, artists, geotourism, hybrid networks, educational outreach and available trainable labor, FdS carefully expands the products / services we offer as well as our overall global scope. Every additional corporate offering is carefully evaluated to ensure proper implementation and that it is a complementary fit with our other offerings. We are expanding our integrated growth pattern to eventually assist the DR and Haiti to take a global leadership role in ecological preservation and alternative energies. FdS strives to be an access platform to a new market for all interested innovators through DominicanConsulting.net. FdS works to facilitate multiple socio/eco industries and businesses to encourage growth that is conscious of the cultural norms and the individual strengths of some of the most impoverished citizens. We anticipate that our strength will continue to grow as we serve more clients and gain more international attention. Our connection to directly sharing our innovations with US students of all ages, may just spark the next generation of innovation that FdS can put into practice, and the US can see proven and thereafter adopt. The DR government is extremely pro-business and pro-environment, and we are working to put those policies toward serious business development. The new Haitian government is encouraging business development as well. The DR and Haiti provide a unique starting point for a developmental movement that can eventually span the globe.