Eunante Pierre is a mother from the commune of Baradères, Nippes, Haiti. Previously, for Eunante, making a simple phone call to her children in the United States or connecting with family members required her to make an arduous trek to the top of a mountain while fending off mosquitoes in the scorching sun. These daily struggles were the cost of communication and the price of being able to access a network connection.
However, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Internet Society Haiti Chapter and funding from the Beyond the Net Large Grant program, Eunante’s life has undergone a significant transformation. Now, because of a new community network, she can effortlessly connect with her family through WhatsApp, reducing the challenges previously associated with keeping in touch. Her son, Sam Pierre, can continue his studies online, a dream that previously seemed unattainable due to security concerns in Port-au-Prince. Their story is a testament to the transformative power of high-speed Internet.
A Glimpse of Haiti
Haiti, a Caribbean nation sharing the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, boasts a rich history and culture, and a population of over 11.6 million people. While progress in technical infrastructure is being made, access to the Internet has remained limited, with only 41.4% of the population connected as of 2022.
A Network of Hope
The Internet Society Haiti Chapter’s vision extends far beyond Eunante’s community. By establishing six community Internet networks in remote areas, they are bridging the rural digital divide and making high-speed Internet accessible to those who need it most. These communities include:
- Rivière Salée 5th section Baradères, Nippes
- La Plaine 4th section Baradères, Nippes
- Baradères Town Center, Nippes
- Bondeau, 4th section, petite Rivière de Nippes
- Surrounded Savanne, Ranquitte, North
- Milot, North
Community networks are lifelines for students, families, and the wider community. In Bondeau, 300 students and 150 community members can now access high-speed Internet. In Rivière Salée, Baradères, 500 students and the community now enjoy connectivity. Milot benefits 300 people, Savanne Touree aids 300 students, and the Baradères town center now connects over a hundred individuals. This initiative is helping to improve education and contributing to sustainable development in Haiti.
Such transformative initiatives could not be possible without supporting organizations like the National Telecommunication Council of Haiti, AFNIC, and the Transversal Foundation, which champion universal Internet access. Together with the Internet Society Haiti Chapter, they are making strides toward ensuring that the Internet becomes a tool accessible to all, a gateway to essential services, and a vehicle for education and progress.
Access to high-speed Internet is not a luxury; it is a necessity. The Internet Society Foundation’s Beyond the Net Large Grant program, coupled with the dedication of the Internet Society Haiti Chapter, is changing lives, connecting communities, and lighting the path towards a brighter future in Haiti. With high-speed Internet, the people of Haiti are poised to unlock a world of knowledge, opportunities, and possibilities, propelling their nation into a new era of digital empowerment.