Sélébré Ayiti literally means Celebrate Haiti in Haitian Créole (the predominant spoken language of Haiti). Sélébré Ayiti is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which celebrates the Republic of Haiti by promoting its most valuable currency – the Haitian people (especially the Haitian youth) – both at home and throughout the Haitian diaspora. By developing programs which promote education, maintaining proper health and fitness, and respect for the cultural arts, we endeavor to change the lives of Haitian youth by connecting them with the opportunities of the 21st century.
Sélébré Ayiti is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Haitians, particularly the youth, in Haiti and throughout the Haitian Diaspora. We aim to do this by facilitating and promoting avenues for expression and success in education, cultural arts, sports, health and wellness, and entrepreneurship. We believe that the best way to celebrate Haiti (Sélébré Ayiti), is by helping Haiti’s most precious national currency – its youth – achieve their fullest potential.
In the wake of the devastating earthquake of January 2010, Sélébré Ayiti was formed by Haki and Myriam Halisi, two people Haitian descent who are dedicated to the notion that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” After the tears and the pain had subsided from this tremendous emotional loss, an idea began to germinate about how they could help their ancestral home following such devastation to life and infrastructure. What could we do that would actually be useful and where did their expertise lie? And, of course, who specifically were they planning to help? Many organizations already existed in Haiti that were trying to help, so naturally they were not interested in “re-inventing the wheel.”
Sélébré Ayiti believes that there is an overwhelming well of untapped talent, resilience and potential that exists within the Haitian people wherever they may happen to reside. Often times, the only thing missing is opportunity. By providing education and scalable, viable programming, we hope to turn this previously untapped resource into real success. In order to create success, one must not only provide opportunity but the means by which to sustain that success – education is, therefore, fundamental to any such effort. Even the most naturally gifted person needs to learn how to harness their talent to be able to make it work for them. Organizations like the NBA, GOOGLE, and the United Way all train their employees. They spend time teaching leadership skills and provide numerous opportunities for professional development. Leveraging Myriam Halisi’s years of experience as a human resources professional, Sélébré Ayiti will create opportunity programming in all of our key focus areas that will incorporate leadership training, entrepreneurial education, and critical thinking skills development.