Ten years ago, Steven Duclair was a kid in Haiti who dreamed of a better life and looked for a way to escape poverty. Through hard work, a strong sense of faith and hope, and a willingness to pursue education, he is about to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Communications. When you grow up poor, you hear “no” many times. Those who are determined to move forward in life simply cannot take “no” as an
answer. As a Haitian who has moved up the socioeconomic ladder and experienced the same struggles as many
others who haven’t been able to escape, Steven believes that Sustain the Future’s innovative approach to combat
poverty is exactly what the people of Haiti need. While the tendency of many is to turn away from stories of
poverty and strife, a wonderful and “free” way to change one’s thinking is to listen to people’s stories and increase
awareness of their situation. Humanitarian thinking begins with trying to understand things that might not be familiar to one’s own experience.
Sustain the Future has completed an initial Shoes for Haiti program, but are now thinking bigger. Their next two projects involve creating a sustainable school that could be built as a prototype, then placing that school in a larger framework of sustainable communities that would create jobs, housing adapted to the local climate, and opportunities for economic development. Designs for the school and sustainable community, as well as partnerships with others who are interested in offering support, are in the works.
Despite the challenges Haitians have experienced for decades, they remain a culture that is rich in art, music, dance and food, all within a country that has an abundance of natural beauty. Your interest and support helps inform others about the opportunities for positive change in Haiti, a country that despite serious challenges, remains full of hope and pride.