Kwasans is a Creole word meaning ‘growth’. At the Kwasans Foundation we are passionate about seeing growth in every facet of Haitian livelihood. By taking a holistic and sustainable approach to development, including nutrition and social enterprise initiatives, we are ultimately empowering Haitians Helping Haitians.
Nutrition & Education
OUR LADY'S PARTNERSHIP
We refer to our partnership with the University of Notre Dame and the University of Notre Dame Haiti as "Our Lady's Partnership" to remind us of our joint mission to support our global community. Rooted in the Catholic values of dignity of the human person, family and community, rights and responsibilities, and solidarity, we collectively strive to uplift and strengthen those who need it most.
Our Mailboxes Etc. soft opening in Haiti is rolling out now…
Through the purchase of “e-box” forwarding addresses, folks in the U.S. can now ship items bought online easily to Haiti. We are very excited about this groundbreaking opportunity! This service also solves a huge problem for Haitians living in Haiti affording them the new ability to order online at all major e-commerce sites that typically would only ship within the U.S.
MEET OUR TEAM
Dr. Jessica Rigutto-Farebrother, MPharm, MPH
Senior Scientist, ETH Zurich
Dr. Rigutto-Farebrother serves as a Scientist & Lecturer, Laboratory for Nutrition and Metabolic Epigenetics at ETH Zürich, Switzerland as well as Visiting Scientist, Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child, University of Notre Dame, IN and is a Registered Nutritionist with the British Association of Nutritional Medicine and Lifestyle Therapy. Jessica’s research interests lie in improving micronutrient nutrition, with a particular focus on iodine, iron, and thyroid health through the life cycle. She has numerous publications in the scientific press, and works closely with WHO, UNICEF and other international organizations to provide government-level advice on iodine policy globally.
Fr. Thomas Streit, CSC, PhD
Retired Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame
Scientific Research Director, University of Notre Dame Haiti
Fr. Thomas Streit, CSC, PhD has undergraduate (1980) and graduate degrees in theology and arbovirology from the University of Notre Dame. After a 1994-1997 postdoctoral fellowship in Haiti, under the sponsorship of the CDC and a University of Georgia NIH training program, Fr. Streit returned to Notre Dame, where he served on the faculty for 20 years, dividing his time between campus teaching duties and labs in Haiti.
During those years, with grants totaling more than $20 million, Streit assisted CDC and Haitian Government officials to build a model national program for the permanent elimination of lymphatic filariasis (infectious elephantiasis). Included as part of those efforts were the establishment of a Public Health Reference & Training Center at Holy Cross Hospital (Sainte Croix) in Leogane Haiti, where he remains currently as Director of Research. Father also serves on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame of Haiti.
Rev. Jean Herald, PhD
Executive Vice Rector, University of Notre Dame Haiti
To have the possibility of putting my whole being: my faith, my knowledge, my experiences, and my abilities at the service of the others whoever I am.
As a Catholic Priest, Father Herald serves as Vicar at the Parish of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal of Hinche, is National Director of the Episcopal Health Commission, Diocesan chaplain of the Eucharistic Youth Movement and Diocesan of the Diocesan Health Commission as well as Chaplain of Sainte Thérèse de Hinche Hospital. Father Herald is fluent in Creole, French, Italian, English and understands Spanish as well.
Gilbert "Chip" Wirth, Jr.
Executive Director & Founder, Kwasans Foundation
Chip has been an advisor to the University of Notre Dame’s Bon Sel Initiative (BSI) for the past 15 years. Chip —working alongside technical advisors from Cargill— assisted in the supervision of the design and construction of the project’s salt processing plant in Port au Prince, Haiti. In addition to his work with the GC-DWC’s Social Enterprise Initiative through the BSI, he is involved in several additional projects to serve the people of Haiti. Chip is one of the founders of the Maison Fortune Orphanage Foundation, a project that supports 230 underprivileged youth in the town of Hinche. He also worked with the University of Notre Dame Haiti to found and fund the University’s Bio Science Program, a first-of-its-kind program in Haiti.
Jamison Greene is currently a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, based in the Washington DC office. Jamison got his MBA from Notre Dame. With a strong focus on the intersection of business and policy, he leverages his background to provide valuable insights and recommendations to clients.
Nick Yanek is a current MBA candidate at the University of Notre Dame and serves as the Earl Carter Fellow for the Global Center for Development of the Whole Child. After graduation this May, Nick will continue his education by pursuing his MD degree with aspirations to operate his own practice or enter hospital administration.