MA 1996/97

Ingvill Konradsen Ceide, Co-Founder and General Manager, ProsjektHaiti 

I moved to Haiti immediately after I had finished my course at ICS in September 1997. 

I have for the last 20 years worked in different organizations in Haiti and my home country Norway. 

Some of the opportunities I had the pleasure of being part of was developing a Human Rights curriculum at the Police Academy in Port au Prince, Haiti. As a newly graduate from the MA program at ICS I was able to use my new knowledge towards supporting new police recruits to understand and appreciate Human Rights as part of their daily work. 

I since continued to work in Norway with refugees at the local government level in Tromso municipality and later as project leader at the Centre for International Health (University of Tromso/University Hospital North Norway. I have worked with the UN in Ecuador and Haiti and over the years I have attended additional courses at several universities, amongst others Harvard University, (Health and Human Rights) and Stanford University, (Social Entrepreneurship).

In the year 2000 I co-funded the organization Prosjekt Haiti (PH) with my Haitian husband Edwin Ceide. PH has grown from a small start-up with one primary school in Port au Prince, into a mid-sized development organization, focusing on education, youth leadership, adult literacy and vocational training as well as entrepreneurship and business development for women in Haiti.  I am the only Norwegian employed at PH working with more than 50 Haitian staff in the different programmes and social businesses.  We finance our activities with donations from public and private funds in Norway and the US. My job is to lead the organization and the staff, identify potential sources of financing, prepare project proposals, follow-up, evaluation and reporting, networking, promoting, co-create and coordinate new programmes. Prosjekt Haiti was founded in the millennium year of 2000 with the belief that individuals coming together can create positive, social development in a country overwhelmed by challenges.

Being a small, local organisation we strongly believe that social change must come from the ground up, with civil society taking the lead in defining their own needs, and not least, defining their own solutions to those needs. Prosjekt Haiti offer different activities for the local population that leads to empowerment and innovative job creation. Parallell with these activities we strive to identify individuals with leadership potential who are offered trainee positions within the organization. These leadership talents become agents of change in the local community with a strong feeling of ownership to the process of creating social change.

My husband, Edwin Ceide, was recently elected Mayor of the municipality in Saint Louis du Sud in Haiti, and I am working closely with him and his team on the development of the municipality.   Saint Luis du Sud is a population of approx. 80 000 habitants. It is a region with amazing opportunities for agriculture, fishing and tourism, but unfortunately it also suffers from decades of neglect by Haiti’s weak and corrupt political leaders. Saint Louis du Sud, like most of Haiti, suffer from lack of infrastructure, clean water, electricity, schools and jobs for the population. Edwin’s vision is to develop the region as an example of what is possible to do in Haiti with an effective and genuine political leadership in place and I am very exited to be part of this work. 

I have fond memories of my time in London as a student of Human Rights, now 20 years ago. The course was informative, practical and inspiring.