Local Support

Newsletter issue: 
April 2015
News item date: 
Friday, April 3, 2015

by Kaitlyn Guzik (Director of Communty Development)

Lucien “Lucky” Rousseau (center) attends LCS 2014 graduation. From left: Mme Esther Paul (THP Director of Operations-Haiti, LCS ’01), Annick Baussan (Local supporter and class Godmother), Lucien Rousseau (Local supporter), Christina Moynihan (former LCS Director of Neighborhood Educaiton and Social Services), and Deacon Patrick Moynihan (THP President & Head of LCS)

    It is a well-known principle in Haiti that a chodye (large cooking pot) has greatest stability when it rests on twa roche (three rocks). Accordingly, The Haitian Project’s (THP) Louverture Cleary School (LCS) sits solidly on three supports: students, staff and the community. Lucien “Lucky” Rousseau, owner of TOPCO-Haiti, has proven himself a true friend of the Project, supporting LCS with in-kind support from his food distribution business, hiring LCS graduates, and, most recently, supporting the filming of a new promotional video to help THP spread the good word.

THP Board Member and long-time local supporter, Patrick Brun, first introduced Rousseau to the Project in fall of 2009 while recruiting funds towards a match gift. Brun recalls, “Lucky’s participation at the time was invaluable, and it wasn't long before his interest in our work and mission grew. He was particularly captivated by our Charism, I recall. That same year he came to visit the school, attended graduation and opened his food warehouse to LCS.”

Deacon Patrick Moynihan, THP President and Head of LCS, considers the Project fortunate to count Rousseau as a member of the community. “With all due respect to Patrick Brun, Lucky is the most impressive business man I have met in Haiti. He has succeeded in integrating traditional Haitian businesses and introducing new businesses to help the country grow economically. He does his research—the exact thought that came to my mind when he came to his first LCS graduation, without prompting, to observe.”

Rousseau’s TOPCO-Haiti has been around since the early 1980’s, importing and manufacturing food products such as garlic, bullion, and herring for distribution in Haiti. Running a business in Haiti forces one to confront serious challenges of infrastructure and bureaucracy, but Rousseau is quick to point to the lack of education as Haiti’s greatest obstacle to development. “[THP] represents exactly what I see as the solution to Haiti’s problems: Education of the people to become productive citizens for the common good of the society.” Rousseau believes so strongly in the Project that he looks for any opportunity to help spread the good word. In December, Rousseau enlisted the services of friend and Haitian filmmaker, Mario Delatour, to produce a new promotional video for THP.

For many years, Rousseau has also supported the Louverture Cleary food program with in-kind donations of TOPCO’s major products. Jean Roger Polidor (’07), Director of THP’s Office of External Affairs, is deeply appreciative of Rousseau’s support – particularly for the employment opportunities he has given to LCS graduates. Identifying Rousseau as a true benefactor of THP, Polidor commented, “Mr. Rousseau is a very good-hearted man and an exceptional businessman. He is among the people who have their own missions, their own business, their own family, but are still very generous in supporting the Project and furthering the mission of this institution. By supporting this video to tell more people about LCS, you see that it is important to him that we are seen.”