Where We're From – Our History

Fondasyon Limyè Lavi is a Haitian organization in existence since 1993, officially in 1994. Limyè Lavi was founded for the purpose of helping those most vulnerable. Therefore Limyè Lavi works against Child Exploitation Practices of the 'Restavèk' system, and to help people who cannot read to learn to read and write so they can change their life and be more productive. The Haitian proverb that best represents Limyè Lavi's work: “The Rock in the water doesn't know (understand) the suffering of the Rock in the sun ".


Fondasyon Limyè Lavi originated in EAPE (Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education), when EAPE decided to discontinue its activities Haiti, Thus was created an organization in Haiti to continue the work being done through EAPE, and one in the United States to seek funds to support this work in Haiti. That created two (2) organizations from this initiative, one based in Haiti and the other one based in the United States.

Fondasyon Limyè Lavi follows these philosophical principles :

  • Incarnation : Follow Jesus as a model. A model of a person who came for those who are poor. Who entered into the reality of humanity to accompany them, listened to them, lived their reality with them, accompanied them to help them transform their living conditions. This leads to the Organization's philosophical document, "The Rock in the Water" which represents the philosophical should of Fondasyon Limyè Lavi. It serves to adapt and lead our evolution as an organization .
  • Limyè Lavi was founded on a flat system based on Consensus. This was one of the foundational principles that Limyè Lavi was founded on. All decisions made in Limyè Lavi were made on a consensus basis so that all those involved in everything that was done were included, no one felt excluded.
  • Remain Small, was another principle that would guide Limyè Lavi. Light Life should remain as small as possible to make a big impact where we work and so that as many resources as possible can go to the communities where we work.


From the beginning (ane 1994-2006) Limyè Lavi began 2 programs:

a) An educational program for children in the South of Haiti. This program was done in partnership with MEBSH (Evangelical Baptist Mission of Haiti)
where many children who were in the "Restavek" situation” got the chance to go to school.
b) A literacy program on Lagonav, which we did with AAPLAG (Association of Peasant Animators of Lagonav).

In 2005, we began to diversify our intervention. We began exploring ways to go find the people who were in the most need, while still doing similar work. so we left Port-au-Prince and moved our offices to Jacmel, closer to the communities. Now we focus our work in rural communities that are the most marginalized. We continue to work in Education and Literacy, collaborating with different groups and organizations from various corners of Haiti who also work against exploitation practices of children. This is how, in 2006, we launched the first National Day against Child Exploitation. The launch of this day was the result of a meeting we had held with BIT / IPEC in December 2001, which gave birth to the ASR network (Down with the Restavek System).

Then we expanded our work even more, when in 2006, we developed awareness campaigns and training programs for teachers, principals and parents for quality education for every child in Sodo in the Central Plateau, and in the Southeast.

We create and accompany school networks; hold pedagogical trainings for school administrators; develop strategies to motivate parents to send their children to school, pay their school teachers and support their children in the education they receive at school; develop an accelerated program (3 years) so that children, typically too old to go to school, can attend school in their communities, literacy work to teach adults to read and write and to contribute more to society; and increase the ability of communities to produce more through agro-economic projects. All this work done with the overarching objective to reduce the amount of children who leave home and enter the system of domestic laborers (Restavèk System) and to strengthen communities.

This is how we got where we are today.