BuildAndBridge founder: Joshua Paul, MD
I was born in Port Au Prince Haiti in the early sixties. My father was a minister and my mom was a homemaker and sometime primary school teacher. I still have vivid memories of sunny downtown Port Au Prince teaming with tourists. And who could forget the Bi-Centenaire our famous waterfront park and the way it became alive at night, with children everywhere and couples walking hand in hand.
In 1978, my family migrated to South Carolina. Five years later, I began traveling back and forth to Haiti. First, I travelled with sports teams, then later with medical mission teams.Sometime around 2005, a friend invited me to visit Cotes de Fer. I fell in love again with the sandy beaches of the Southern part of the Island. After several visits, I made some contacts and begun a small humanitarian project in the area.
In January 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter’s scale tore through the capital of Haiti leaving three hundred thousand people dead and a million people wounded. The devastation prompted foreign aid pledges of nearly 12 billion US dollars and caused an explosion of humanitarian projects.
We all know the rest. The majority of the projects came to an end without producing noticeable improvement of the socioeconomic conditions in Haiti. Unfortunately, the same failure happens to Aid that Haiti receives during periods of no natural disaster. In the aftermath of the earthquake, I had to make a choice whether to stick to charity projects or work for true human development. I could not do both. I realized at that time that my real passion was human development.
In early 2012, BuildandBridge was born over coffee with a group of close friends.
The mission of the Buildandbrigde team: forge partnerships to support sustainable human development in Haiti.
In all our endeavors, we thrive to stick to a formula we called the BEST principle, ie: Buy Haitian, Employ Haitian and attain Sustainability.
Today we continue to contribute to sustainable human development by working with the BEL initiative, a program of the Georgia Haitian American Chamber of Commerce and with SAKALA, a youth development center in Cite Soleil Haiti. Our strategy involves early exposure of young people to entrepreneurship and network building.
We continue to actively seek to build partnership to support sustainable human development in Haiti.