Founder of Haiti's First Bank for the Poor to Visit Sage

February 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Troy, NY The Sage Colleges are pleased to welcome Father Joseph Philippe, a leader in the struggle to promote economic opportunity for the people of Haiti, to Bush Memorial Hall on Wednesday, February 3 from 12:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

Fr. Philippe, a Haitian Catholic priest, is the founder of Fonkoze, also known as the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Foundation (Fondasyon Kole Zepol), Haiti's first Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor. Since 1994, nearly 40 branches have opened throughout the impoverished country, serving more than 55,000 female borrowers with small loans and 175,000 others with savings accounts. The bank's mission is to provide Haitian women with the opportunity to participate in the economic development of their country, to teach individuals how to organize themselves economically.

In addition to Fonkoze, Fr. Philippe is also the founder of University of Fondwa, Haiti's first and only rural university. The school, now destroyed, educated young men and women from dozens of villages in agriculture, veterinary medicine and management, providing them with skills essential to the growth and development of their communities.

Fr. Philippe's visit to Sage will focus on the devastating effect the recent earthquake has had on his country; the loss of its people, schools, orphanages, health clinics, banks. He will talk of the rebuilding efforts, of the struggles facing Haiti and the progress that can be made.

For more information on Fr. Philippe and on The Sage Colleges efforts to support Haiti, please visit