UB, Buff State to help develop Haitian community

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College are participating in a project to establish a sustainable village and learning community in Haiti.

The State University of New York (SUNY) announced Monday that ten different SUNY campuses would work with five different non-profit organizations to develop a 40-acre piece of land in Akayè, Haiti.

The parcel of land was donated by Nassau Community College professor emeritus Dr. Carmelle Bellefleur, and the project will be funded by an $800,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall says the plan is for SUNY students, faculty and staff to work with the local Haitian community to farm the land and provide food, build a medical center to increase health and wellness, and deliver much-needed services and economic development across many sectors.

Each SUNY campus will bring a special expertise to the village. The University at Buffalo will provide expertise in social work, and Buffalo State College will contribute expertise in performing arts.

The five not-for-profit organizations partnering on the project are: African Methodist Episcopal Church Service and Development Agency (AME-SADA), Effort Commun Pour Le Developpement de L'Arcahaie (ECODA), Haiti Development Institute, Hope on a String, and YouthBuild International.

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