I never even really wanted to go to Haiti.
It’s true. I was a very reluctant traveler the first time I traveled to Haiti. It was 9 months after the devastating 2010 earthquake, and I only agreed to go as part of a volunteer group at the encouragement of my then-boyfriend. The moment I stepped off that plane and into the hustle and bustle that is Port au Prince, however, something in my heart cracked open. After 5 days in-country washing feet and giving shoes, my heart had shifted in a way I wouldn’t fully understand until many years later.
After that initial trip, I was offered a job with the very organization I had traveled with as a volunteer. Fast forward a few years and through some major life-changes, and I was leading the very same trips I had been on as a volunteer. My work carried me multiple times to Guatemala, Jamaica, Tanzania, and Haiti. I loved all these beautiful places, and spending time in each of country taught me the importance of education, but something about Haiti continued to draw me in closer.
Eventually the close friendships I’d formed in Haiti collided with my passion for education and led to the creation of The 610 Project.
The 610 Project’s work is done in partnership with Haitian American Caucus and is designed to empower and sustain. We invest heavily in two communities: Croix des Bouquets (where we support educational initiatives for 500+ students) and Les Cayes (where we are building a second campus).
We focus on education, microenterprise development, and adult vocational training. That takes many forms, but one thing never changes: our belief that these communities are able to thrive when given the right tools.
It remains to this day my strongest belief that education is key in breaking the cycle of poverty. When a child is given the opportunity for education, he is empowered to dream. She is taught her life is valuable beyond measure.
Our work isn't about us. It’s about the people we serve and the legacy they will create and leave for their families and communities. We are honored to be a part of that journey with these two communities. We hope you’ll join us in educating a generation and breaking the cycle of poverty in Haiti.
Melissa Daniel Bain
Executive Director, Founder