Founded in 2018, Kwasans Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization that provides funding, opportunity and other valuable resources for Haitian entrepreneurs striving to achieve and sustain social and economic good for their communities. The Foundation focuses on equipping Haitians with the resources necessary for success in any setting, including technology, services, retail and social ventures.
Our goal is to provide support for and help bolster the capabilities of existing Haitian organizations and institutions. Through strategic partnerships, we develop programs, initiatives and institutions that provide foundational support, such as our Bioscience Program and upcoming Entrepreneurial Center in Hinche, Haiti, created in partnership with the University of Notre Dame Haiti. We also act to inject funding wherever we see a critical need, whether for a health care initiative that can alleviate suffering or a youth program in need of support.
We are passionate about seeing sustainable growth in every facet of Haitian livelihood. Our aim is to support Haitian institutions that will bring benefit to the Haitian people.
In order to continue our mission of empowering Haitians Helping Haitians, Kwasans depends on the generous support of people like you. Please help revitalize this beautiful country and its amazing, resourceful people by donating to the cause today.
The Kwasans Foundation is only a few years old, founded by Gilbert “Chip” Wirth of Wirth Development Corporation in Hampton Roads, Virginia. But Chip’s love of and involvement with Haiti goes back much further.
In (year), having established a successful construction and development company in the U.S., Chip was interested in “sharing his blessings” through philanthropy. Putting his building and business expertise to good use, Chip partnered with Dr. Chris Foley and Ron Bieszczad to create a foundation to help fund, develop and build Maison Fortuné Orphanage in Hinche, Haiti, which was originally founded by Lefort Jean Louis. Since then Maison Fortuné has provided a loving home for more than 220 residents, including many survivors of the devastating 2010 earthquake.
Through the years, however, Chip became increasingly troubled by the lack of opportunities for the young men and women as they “aged out” of the orphanage. What do they do next? His philanthropic aspirations in Haiti broadened.
Continuing to head up his company in Virginia, Chip visited Haiti often, seeking out and taking on projects that could help create opportunity and improve quality of life in Haiti. These endeavors formally coalesced into one organization with the creation of the Kwasans Foundation in 2018.
As for the graduates of Maison Fortuné Orphanage – Kwasans ongoing support includes paying for their tuition in the Bioscience Program (LINK TO SIDEBAR) and future Entrepreneurial Center created by the Foundation if they are interested in attending.
Kwasans is a Creole word meaning growth. The Kwasans Foundation is passionate about fostering growth in Haiti to contribute to a better, more sustainable future for the wonderful people of this beautiful island nation.
Chip Wirth Bio
Gilbert J. Wirth, Jr. (Chip) has been an advisor to the University of Notre Dame’s Haiti Salt Project 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 the Haiti Salt Project, 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 the University’s Bio Science Program, a first-of-its-kind program in Haiti.
Chip serves as an advisor to the University of Notre Dame’s Student Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations and assists students in their work to support the efforts of the Haiti Salt Project. He also serves as an advisor and business partner to the University’s Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child, attempting to create novel economic development opportunities to fund and sustain Haitian Catholic elementary schools.
Chip graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He spent the next 8 years in the power generator business at Dominion Resources. In 1988, he and his wife, Patty, founded Wirth Development Corporation, a residential developer of single family homes and rental apartments. He and Patty currently reside in Chesapeake, Virginia.