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Embodying the Charism
News item date:
Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Thomas Cody (THP Volunteer)
Lucien Dossous (LCS Class of 2004) speaks with a Philo (senior +1) student about theimportance of The Haitian Project mission during a recent campus visit.
Nou pare pou rebate Ayiti. (We are ready to rebuild Haiti.) For 2004 Louverture Cleary School (LCS) graduate Lucien Dossous, the final line of La Louverturienne (the LCS school song) resonated loud and clear, ingraining itself in his heart and driving his future work.
Following the 2010 earthquake, Dossous co-founded a grassroots organization called ACSIS, an acronym in French which translates to Community Action for Solidarity and Social Intervention. ACSIS seeks to aid children in orphanages, assist students in attending school and help with earthquake clean up through numerous initiatives, including a cash forward program. In 2011 he began VERP, or the Economic Raise Program, which focuses on helping women start their own businesses through small loans. In conjunction with VERP, Dossous and his organizations work to curb gender-based violence, specifically with the women of Camp Corail, a temporary housing project for persons displaced by the earthquake outside of Port au Prince [visit the THP Community Update archives at www.haitianproject.org for a related story from May 2013].
Recently, Dossous’s work has garnered global recognition. Last year he was a recipient of the Nelson Mandela—Graça Machel Innovation Award for Latin America and the Caribbean. He used grant money to conduct a symposium on government, democracy and society. Twenty-two organizations and international institutions gathered to discuss social issues. Dossous also works with at-risk youth, empowering them to build a new future for themselves and for Haiti.
Dossous’s continued commitment to community action is rooted in his LCS education, where students constantly live out THP’s charism of giving freely (Mt 10:8). “LCS helped me realize that I should be the first to help Haiti,” he continued, “I have to build Haiti. That is my job.” As Dossous’s organization grows, he always reminds himself of the responsibility he has to give back what he has been given.
Thanks to the success of his work, Dossous was able to do just that with a monetary donation to LCS this fall. “LCS is my second family,” he said with a smile, “I have always wanted to contribute to LCS’s work, and now I can.”