Basic necessities are crucial for progress and change, and the ACFFC makes sure that none of the youth in our program lack for any of these. We provide food, clean water and medical care for our students. Every ACFFC participant and their families have a safe place to live. We partner with families to ensure that our children and young adults have what they need to succeed.
The school system in Haiti is not free, and many children there are not able to attend due to the costs. The ACFFC ensures that all of our kids attend school. We pay for registration, books, uniforms, school supplies, exam fees, tutors, and tuition. The ACFFC also has its own after-school curriculum, which includes critical thinking, creativity as a process, community service, collaboration, environmentalism, and social justice.
The ACFFC uses art to inspire our students to be independent, productive members of society. We believe that the self-sufficiency learned through competency in art is invaluable. Youth in our program learn to become master artisans, painters, photographers and mosaic artists. Through art, they are changing the face of their home city, Jacmel. The arts are helping create their future.
ACFFC youth are their own unique and caring community, with compassion and a strong sense of social justice at its core. Our youth are leaders. Their families have learned with them and from them. They have impacted their city community and are actively involved in positive change for their country. Through international visitors, travel abroad assisted by the ACFFC, and connection through the virtual world, our youth have been able to join the global community as well.
ACFFC was founded in 1999 as a small, informal “art day” program, and was formally established as an organization in 2003. We began as a three day a week program with 8 children in a rickety building, run by volunteer artists and administration. We started out with only $500 USD to build it on.
Belief in these children and the idea that the art skills we had to teach could alter the course of their lives drove us and our program forward. More importantly, it drove the children and their families forward – and still does to this day!
There are now 100 children and teens enrolled in the ACFFC. We are changing the landscape of Jacmel with our passions for change. Our mosaic murals can be found all over Jacmel, standing as glittering symbols of hope and transformation in Haiti.
Leadership training is a focus in our program, as well as advanced studio workshops, business training, and financial competency education for our older teens. Our younger children and their families start by learning how to become a part of a community.
Our art boutique in Jacmel is run by the youth. We have mosaics commissions and grants, managed by the older group of youth. Their art is also available for purchase online at our Etsy shop. Currently, 20% of our budget is generated by the ACFFC. Our goal is for that to be 100%.
We look forward to the day that our oldest youth will be self-reliant and successful, using the skills and lessons they learned at the ACFFC. Our hope is that they will continue to foster their sense of community with the ACFFC long after they are no longer youth in the program. Our young adults are, and will continue to be, role models for the younger children and teenagers.
Our vision for the future involves replicating this model in a number of locations throughout Haiti. We believe that youth are the key to Haiti's successful future, and that our program could have an incredible impact if its reach was even further. Our short-term goals include achieving financial security and self-sustainability as an organization.
After many years of moving from pillar to post, we now have a home of our own! It is a wonderful building on Rue Petion in Jacmel. As grateful as we are to have it, the move has come with a huge financial burden on the organization. This, on top of the cost of operating such an extensive program, makes money a very real and consistent need for the ACFFC.
Your donations, big or small, truly make a difference in the lives of the kids in our program. Your dollars are investments in the lives of children and teenagers who need it the most. By giving to the ACFFC, you are changing lives.