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Our Story

PRODEV was created in 1995 by Max Pénette, his daughter Maryse Pénette-Kedar - Haiti former Secretary of Tourism - and Daniel Kedar. The late Max Pénette was one of Haiti’s iconic and highly respected educators whose belief in the rights of children to be heard and respected continues to serve as PRODEV’s guiding principle. PRODEV was created to address the gap in educational outcomes for children whose parents could not afford to give them an education.

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There are not enough public schools to meet the needs of Haiti’s children living in poverty. In 2010, a devastating earthquake killed over 300,000 residents and destroyed over 80% of the schools. PRODEV immediately joined the rebuilding efforts by creating educational spaces for children displaced by the earthquake and later building a modern school, Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje (ENZ), in a community where displaced children had been relocated.


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After studying engineering and mathematics in Haiti, Europe and the United States, Max Penétte became a recognized teacher in Haiti, including at the Polytechnic School, Petion High School and Alexandre Dumas High School. He founded the Max Pénette College and directed the Ecole Normale Supérieure. Max Pénette was Mayor of Pétion-Ville, a city in Haïti. He passed away in 2018.

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Daniel Kedar was born in Israel. He lived in many countries before settling in Haiti. Daniel Kedar is a businessman. He is passionate about photography. After the earthquake of 2010, he actively participated in the search for funds and helped put together a team of volunteers to rebuild the country.

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Before devoting her time to issues related to education, Maryse Pénette-Kedar has traveled the world to represent her country. She served at the Embassy of Haiti in the USA and in Belgium. She has negotiated Haiti's entry in the Lomé Convention and was Haiti’s Tourism Secretary of State. Mrs. Kedar currently works as a consultant for Royal Caribbean International and is President of the Board of the Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence. She is the recipient of the Grand Croix and was recently voted as Haiti’s top Influencer in the Education sector. She is PRODEV's Board President.

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