The unemployment crisis in Haiti has risen to unprecedented levels, reaching as high as 60% in recent times. Amidst the growing concern, some organizations have worked around the clock to provide more Haitians with job opportunities. One group has provided an avant-garde and practical solution— teaching young people tech-based skills and encouraging them to pick up jobs in technology, digital solutions, and cybersecurity. They’re called HaITian Common Space, and they’re making a dent in the local community and hopefully soon the nation.
HaITian Common Space is a not-for-profit organization and social enterprise that aims to teach Haitian youth basic tech-based skills to allow for more job opportunities. The job creation boom in technology has been undeniable in recent years. Many jobs in tech did not even exist a decade ago but are some of the best-paying opportunities today. Moreover, people can perform these jobs remotely, providing people in developing countries like India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Haiti with virtual opportunities.
Started by a cybersecurity specialist, Gabriela Ariza, the organization opened its doors to Haitian youths in the middle of the pandemic in 2020. Gabriela came up with the idea to set up HaITian Common Space after attending a class that exposed the opportunities surrounding cybersecurity, especially in terms of job generation. “I saw how cybersecurity and technology impact every single person,” Ariza shares. “It crosses borders, it creates jobs, and if you have access to a computer and internet, you become powerful.”
After working as an IT professional for many years, she decided that she wanted to do something to impact unfortunate individuals’ lives. So, she would dedicate her life to giving people training and direction to land jobs in tech and help alleviate themselves and their families from poverty. Through HaITian Common Space, Gabriela and her team have trained numerous students in web programming, cybersecurity, computer networking, and other tech-based skills and helped them land jobs.
Not too long ago, Haiti made headlines after a group assassinated the president. The nation has been under political unrest and imbalance for a long time, leaving very little hope for government aid for the majority of the underprivileged population. By choosing to do her part, Gabriela Ariza hopes to show people another way to a better life independent of government aid and programs. By “teaching people how to fish,” she hopes to empower more youth and spark a revolution of technology-based economies and self-sufficiency amongst Haitian workers.
HaITian Common Space also provides pop-up co-working facilities across the city where people can access computers and high-speed wifi to move their professions and businesses online. Despite the political unrest, the company pushes the mission forward and facilitates learning and job creation for hundreds of Haitian youth.
The group’s programs have helped many students, some as young as seven years old, by helping them understand the growing opportunities around technology and how to tap into those chances at stable and rewarding employment. In the next five years, Gabriela aims to help up to 200,000 families in Cap-Haïtien, one of the busiest centers in the country, by giving them access to tech-based opportunities.
Learn more about HaITian Common Space and how you can support their effort to bring more employment to Haitian youth by visiting its website.