HAPHI is a minority run, non-profit agency dedicated to providing members of the Haitian-American community in Metro Boston with culturally and linguistically accessible information and services to improve their health and wellbeing. Located in Mattapan, HAPHI was founded in 1989 by a group of Haitian-American health care professionals to address pressing public health issues confronting Boston’s Haitian community. HAPHI has grown tremendously and today provides a comprehensive range of prevention, education, and direct service programs to Haitian-Americans from the greater metropolitan area of Boston. Several of its programs serve Haitian Americans throughout New England.
Critical to HAPHI’s success has been the agency’s ability to develop and maintain linkages with a wide variety of Haitian community groups and service agencies. Since its inception, HAPHI has worked closely with Haitian church leaders, parent groups, organizers of athletic events, and media personalities to implement and mobilize support for its programs. HAPHI has cultivated collaborations with local institutions, such as schools, health centers and city and neighborhood coalitions to further enhance the delivery of its services.
The mission of the agency has not changed. However, many new programs have been created reflecting the growing needs of the target population. All programs adhere to the general mission of the agency.
The success of our organization is based on the community participation in the decision making process and our response to the stated needs of the community.
Criteria used by the agency involves the demographic change of the community, agency mission, and needs revealed by the community through formal and non formal needs assessment.
HAPHI’s primary service constituents are Haitian-Americans of all ages in the Metropolitan area of Boston. Weekly media programs produced by the agency reach a Haitian audience beyond the primary service area and into areas throughout Massachusetts and in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The main neighborhoods served : Mattapan, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Milton
An Eight member Board of Directors oversees HAPHI’s Executive Director, who in turn oversees 13 staff members and contractors working at the agency. HAPHI is organized into three primary service departments: the Youth Department, HIV Prevention and Service Department, and Family and Community Health Department. HAPHI operates on an annual budget of roughly $1.1m
HAPHI programs are designed to take into account not only the linguistic needs, but the community structures that reinforce beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. HAPHI has pioneered the use of “peer leadership” as a mean of affecting behavioral change within the Haitian community. In an effort to assure community members easy access to its direct service programs, HAPHI has also developed mechanisms to deliver most of its services, including HIV education and nutrition, to clients in community settings, such as churches, schools, and homes.
Broad-based community education stratagems include: production and broadcast of educational radio and television programs; community outreach and organizing activities; site and community based, small group educational workshops; and, large scale forums and conferences. Because of low literacy rates, radio and television, are emphasized over distribution of written material. HAPHI’s radio broadcasts are typically conducted live, and feature call-in segments to facilitate dialogue between HAPHI staff, guest speakers and community members.