FFTP-Haiti Executive Director Bishop Ogé Beauvoir Retires: Seven Years of Inspired Leadership and Dedicated Service
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 31, 2022) When Bishop Ogé Beauvoir joined Food For The Poor-Haiti as executive director in 2015, Haiti was still recovering from a devastating earthquake in 2010.
More than 100,000 people were left homeless, living in camps scattered throughout the Port-au-Prince region after the earthquake. Forty-seven percent of the population suffered from food insecurity, with 10 percent of that group experiencing severe food insecurity.
“That was the context in which I joined Food For The Poor,” Bishop Beauvoir said during a recent media briefing at FFTP headquarters in Coconut Creek to announce his retirement on March 31. “Thanks be to God that Food For The Poor, the American people, and the American churches have provided the resources for us to accomplish all that we have done in Haiti.”
Under Bishop Beauvoir’s leadership, FFTP-Haiti has provided 835 million meals, received more than 8,400 containers of essential goods, built 7,600 homes and completed 2,900 water projects.
“This is an incredible legacy,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you helped Food For The Poor accomplish and for being the steward on behalf of our donors who trusted us with their incredible generosity.”
“For me, Food For The Poor is not a job – it’s a ministry,” Bishop Beauvoir said. “And that’s not only for me but also for the 400 people working with us.”
Raine joined Mark Khouri, FFTP Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, and Daniel Rouzier, Chairman of the Board of Directors for FFTP-Haiti, today in paying tribute to Bishop Beauvoir during a special tribute hosted by FFTP-Haiti. He announced the dedication of the P4H Quality Education Initiative in Bishop Beauvoir’s honor.
Initiated through Bishop Beauvoir’s leadership, the project impacts 38 schools, 343 teachers and more than 7,000 children. It currently is addressing the educational needs of the Haitian community through professional training for teachers and collaboration with parents. Future plans include enhancing school infrastructure and nutritional programming.
“This is your legacy,” Raine said during today’s tribute. “There are so many things that we could have said about your legacy, but I truly believe this meets the spirit of who you are and what you care about most.”
Upon his retirement, Bishop Beauvoir will join the FFTP-Haiti Board. Mario Nicoleau, Chief Operating Officer of FFTP-Haiti, will succeed Bishop Beauvoir as executive director, effective April 1. An engineer by profession, Nicoleau grew up in Haiti and obtained his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Florida International University in Miami.
Nicoleau worked in the United States and subsequently in Haiti, where he served as vice president and later as president of his family’s construction business and eventually held a position at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He joined FFTP-Haiti as COO in 2018 and has played a vital role in revamping the Housing and Infrastructure Department.
“I have been alongside Bishop over the past four years, executing his five-year plan, working with the communities, and seeing our projects come to fruition,” Nicoleau said. “We’re on a good path to get our beneficiaries to some type of sustainability.”
Bishop Beauvoir’s five-year plan included two major components: decentralizing the FFTP-Haiti distribution system and adopting an integrated approach to community development.
The key to decentralization was opening 13 distribution centers in partnership with churches throughout Haiti. With the help of the distribution centers, FFTP-Haiti is distributing food and essential goods to 10,000 schools, hospitals and other institutions, bringing help to more than 2 million people throughout Haiti.
To make FFTP-Haiti beneficiaries more self-sufficient, Bishop Beauvoir pursued an integrated approach to community development. This strategy involved securing approximately 49 to 61 acres from the government or another donor to build 150 homes, a school, a medical clinic and a community center. Residents also receive training and supplies to support income-generating activities – such as beekeeping, animal husbandry, aquaculture and agriculture – providing food and generating income for each family.
“The challenge to being a leader is to help people and also help them understand that God has not created them to be dependent,” Bishop Beauvoir said. “As it was said to the man in the Gospel, ‘stand up, take your bed, and walk.’ We are giving our beneficiaries help to stand up and walk.”
Looking toward the future, Nicoleau will build upon Bishop Beauvoir’s legacy. Both men acknowledge that the landscape has changed significantly in the last year. Haiti is still dealing with unrest and uncertainty in the aftermath of the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, as well as the lingering devastation of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace in August 2021 and increasingly powerful criminal gang activity.
Even with these challenges, Nicoleau remains resolute and focused. FFTP-Haiti is now implementing phase two of the decentralization plan – opening satellite offices where FFTP-Haiti staff will work with church leaders and monitor the progress of community projects. Plans are underway to open a satellite center in Miragoâne, and others are planned for construction in Hinche and Les Cayes. Nicoleau and his team are also charting new, safer routes to deliver food by land, air and sea.
“We’re continuously finding innovative ways to bring food to the people,” Nicoleau said. “As we say here, ‘sometimes if we don’t work, people die.’ So, there is no way for us to give up on getting food to where it is needed.”
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.