Thank You for Supporting Grassroots Leaders in Haiti

By Yusuph Masanja
Co-Faciliator, Global Alumni Network

Following the 12th Anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti on January 12th, the Goldin Global Fellows based in Haiti launched a fundraising campaign to support women and children most affected by the crisis. Since the earthquake in 2010, Malya Villard-Appolon and Daniel Tillias have pioneered grassroots actions to support their neighbors. The recent earthquake in 2021 disrupted much of the efforts to rebuild but Malya and Daniel never gave up on their mission to support survivors. Together, they mobilized support from the global community, emphasizing on the ability of grassroots leaders to channel relief support to those mostly affected in their shared communities.

Through a crowdfunding campaign, they successfully raised 1,640 USD from Goldin Institute supporters across the globe to support immediate and direct relief to families in need. Malya and Daniel are great examples of grassroots leaders committed to collective actions through involvement of those most directly affected by the crisis. While they are often left out from relief aid and grants, they are the most efficient organizations in bringing about desired change to their communities.

“Many people in Martissant called us for help to flee from the bandits. We used some of the funds to help victims in Martissant move to other provinces. Other funds supported food, shelter and clothing for victims in Grand-Anse (Jèrèmie), Les Cayes, and Barradères communities.” — Malya Villard-Appolon, Goldin Global Fellow and the Co-founder of KOFAVIV

On behalf of the beneficiaries in Haiti and the Goldin Fellows, Daniel and Malya, we say thank you to everyone who donated to this relief effort. Your care and concern for the situation in Haiti gives hope to the grassroots communities. The knowledge that we, the global community, thinks of them in this difficult time, brings them peace and courage.

The video above shows members of the KOFAVIV (The Commission of Women Victims for Victims) distributing humanitarian supplies to affected community members.

As a summary background, for those not familiar with the situation in Haiti, the 12 January 2010 earthquake of 7.0 magnitude left hundreds of thousands who lost their lives, many thousands more injured and millions of people became homeless. The 14 August 2021 earthquake of 7.2 magnitude, which was followed by a Tropical Storm Grace, left more than 2,200 people dead, 12,200 injured, hundreds remained missing and thousands of homes were destroyed. Below is a short video from Malya giving update from last year’s earthquake:

Meet the Goldin Global Fellows in Haiti:

malyasquareMalya Villard Appolon is a recipient of the CNN Hero Award due to her efforts against gender based violence in the displaced persons camps after the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti. She is also a co-founder of the Commission of Women Victims for Victims (KOFAVIV ) working to support at-risk women and girls.



Daniel Tillias ProfileDaniel Tillias is based in Port au Prince, Haiti, where he works to improve the welfare of children and youth. In 2002 he co-founded a grass-root organization called SAKALA to promote peace and reconciliation in Haiti. With the computer Learning Center , Community Garden and sports activities, SAKALA has managed to provide a safe space in the heart of Cité Soleil (Haiti's largest underdeveloped area) where youth come together to grow, learn, and play.

Related Articles