Local, Strategic, and Holistic

May 31, 2021

When we started a small education program back in 2012, we had no idea that it would grow into an independent organization called Thrive Ansanm. All we knew was that families couldn’t afford to send their kids to school, and we wanted to help. It was through experience over time that we developed a more well-rounded vision focused on education, mentoring, and resources.

However, even as our vision was still forming, we were already aware of a few principles that we believed should characterize our work. We wanted to be connected to the local community, be intentional about our strategy, and develop a holistic approach to youth empowerment. This commitment to being local, strategic, and holistic continues to guide us today.

  1. Local

We started out of a grassroots movement of young Haitians, and the majority of our staff are Haitians who grew up in the neighborhood where we serve, so our vision was born out of the experience of young people living in Haiti. We’re not some outside organization that came to Haiti to further our agenda. Rather we are a community of people in Haiti committed to empowering the next generation of Haitians through community, partnership, and local ownership.

  1. Strategic

We’ve never been interested in numbers for the sake of numbers. It might look good on a report to say that we helped 50 students make it through a year of school, but we would rather help 5 students complete their education and start a meaningful career. That’s why we don’t just pay for students’ tuition, but we provide support for books, uniforms, food, and transportation. In addition, we connect students to a personal mentor, and we provide access to technology through our resource center. Of course we want to help as many students as possible, but our primary objective is to equip each student with all of the tools they need to thrive for the long term.

  1. Holistic

Our approach is both practical and relational. We are a community of students, mentors, and staff who are encouraging and supporting each other to pursue a brighter future. Therefore, we address practical needs such as education and access to technology, but we’re also creating a supportive community through our mentoring program and resource center. Sure, we want our students to succeed academically, but we also want them to thrive physically and emotionally. Ultimately, our goal is to position young people to thrive as students and as human beings.

When you support young people through Thrive Ansanm, you’re supporting a local, strategic, and holistic model that is truly enabling young people to build a thriving future.

CLICK HERE to support young people in Haiti.

by Josh Gray

Josh is the director of Thrive Ansanm, and he lives in Haiti with his wife Bethany and their son Koa. Josh and Bethany moved to Haiti full-time in 2019, and they started Thrive Ansanm the following year.

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