Fraternite Valleenne's mission:
“Sponsor education, health/environmental projects; promote community development”
A Brief History of Fraternite Valleenne Inc:
The idea to unite and participate in a collective effort for the betterment of La Vallee was brought to our New York Community by Mr. Surin Lauture after a brief visit to La Vallee in the summer of 1976.
The recently formed CODEVA (Coude a Coude pour le Developpement de La Vallee) was looking to establish a partnership with Valleens living abroad. Fraternite Valleenne first meeting was organized in September of 1976 at Surin's residence in Brooklyn. An exploratory committee was formed and Joseph Lauture was chosen to direct the movement . The pioneers of that movement were: Jean Boursiquot, Max Colastin, Carlo Lamothe, Leonard Laroche, Lucien Laroche, Joseph Lauture, Surin Lauture. Fraternite Valleenne was established to help pool the resources of those willing to give and help the community of La Vallee.
In March of 1977, Fraternite Valleenne Inc. (FV), received its legal status as a non-profit organization in the state of NY. Encouraged by the response from the New York City community, others in the diaspora joined the effort. The following year, in Montreal, Canada, a Chapter of Fraternite Valleenne was established.
In December 1977, Fraternite Valleenne held its first fund raising event. Valleens from the five boroughs of New York, from New Jersey, Connecticut and even as far as Canada attended.
Fraternite Valleenne first priority was to build a fully functional dispensary-hospital for the region. La Vallee was home to 30,000+ people back then, yet it did not have any health care facility. FV called all Valleens into action. Chapters were created in Stamford, Spring Valley, Boston, Maryland, Miami, and Montreal to help raise the funds to build the hospital. In the end FV and its members contributed $30,000 toward the hospital's construction. In the summer of 1980, we were invited to La Vallee for the inauguration of the new 30 bed hospital. This was cooperation at its best.
The hospital, which includes a maternity ward, has a staff that includes one medical intern, two nurses, and one midwife. Equipment for the hospital such as beds and medical instruments were donated by various sources in the United States. Fraternite Valleenne provided for the transport of these goods to La Vallee by paying for the shipping cost.
Over the years, Fraternite Valleenne working with numerous other organizations have completed the following projects: a market place, four primary schools, a secondary school, a soccer field, two water towers, a library, a public square, some secondary roads, and tree nurseries, and a modern professional school.
Fraternite Valleenne also provides financial support for the hospital, and supplements the school budget to pay for additional teachers. We also encourage art and leisure projects, and academic competition in the schools. Future projects include: building a dormitory for the trade school, promoting soil conservation and reforestation, sponsor the "genie-interscolaire" academic competition among others (see our updated current projects list)
The progress La Vallee made since 1910 is the result of good cooperation among her sons and daughters wherever they are. Unfortunately, just like the rest ofHaiti, La Vallee suffers from the absence of an effective local and central government, widespread unemployment, extensive deforestation, substantial land erosion, and a lack of modern infrastructure. That's why concerned Valleens everywhere are doing their best to help meet these challenges.
(By Jude Augustin, FV Secretary)