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One Person & Their Ripple Effect

Today’s post is brought to you by April Cooper.

No matter the title you give him, Kesnel ‘Paul’ Toussaint is the HEART of all of our projects in Haiti. Call him our Haitian Project Director, Co-Founder, Project Operations Manager…he is all of these things and much, much more.

Raised in Haiti all his life, Paul has a deep love for his country. Growing up, there was always an emphasis on serving others & he and his siblings have carried on that gift to adulthood.  Paul has been pumping life into his community through our feeding program, through schools, through our home-style orphanage and others, through various community programs designed to help the Haitian people thrive. He has been the blood coursing through all of us…keeping us full of life and purpose.

I first met Paul on a trip with Soles4Souls in 2012. He was our translator/guide and from very early on you could tell he had a commanding presence. He was well respected and he had a way of making people listen to him. Paul has a gift. It is one of love and passion for his people. His positive aura is infectious. We kept in touch after I returned home; discussing Haiti, his dreams for his community and how I could help. I was not 100% sure where this journey would be taking me but I was certain Paul was the man to partner up with in Haiti.

Over the course of these 3 1/2 years, many people have asked me how things run and operate in Haiti. Who is doing all the work?? Well, the short answer is Paul. He works with several Americans on different projects, yet somehow he manages to keep them all straight. Don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of other people (Haitians) that are doing the tough work, especially the mother and father at New Hope Orphanage and the cooks at Feeding Hope but Paul is the captain steering the ship.
Many times people ask me, “How do you know you can trust the money is being used for its intended purposes??” Another short answer… Paul. He keeps track of receipts, project estimates, he makes sure projects are completed in a timely manner so people can see the progress, he is transparent and honest and he has built a reputation that is trustworthy and hardworking.
Paul knows what is best for his community and his people, which makes our job a little easier. We’re there to listen and help in a way that will be BEST for the community we work in.
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So, what do you think ?