In 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Haiti recognized Chántale Undate for her work benefiting several communities that are vulnerable to drought in the Northeast and Central Plateau departments.
Zamorano changed her life, says Chántale Undate, class of 2005, by granting her a full scholarship to fulfill her dream of studying at a university – a dream that had seemed difficult to achieve due to her parents’ lack of resources to pay for her undergraduate education. Today she is fighting hunger and malnutrition in her native country, Haiti, through her position as a project management specialist with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Her education at Zamorano opened the door to the world and constituted the foundation that marked her professional success, she says, not without her first thanking God and all of the other entities, principally the Kellogg Foundation, that also provided support in achieving her goals. The Kellogg Foundation provided Zamorano with the scholarship funding that enabled Chántale to receive a full needs-based scholarship so that she could graduate with a B.S. degree in agronomy.
Chántale was attracted by the academic majors offered by Zamorano, the student campus living experience, the values promoted by the University, and by the academic work. “Work conquers all” is the Zamorano motto that Chántale will never forget because she applies it every day. It also reminds her of the importance of a work well-done, and giving one’s best to achieve goals.
Committed to vulnerable communities
After graduating, Chántale returned to Haiti to work for the welfare of her fellow citizens, starting her professional career in development programs with international organizations. This desire to help her countrymen and women motivated her to pursue a postgraduate degree, and in 2011 she traveled to Taiwan to study for a master’s degree in administration. After completing her studies, Chántale returned once more to Haiti to continue with her professional activities as a project management specialist with the USAID for the Food for Peace (FFP) office.
The FFP Office works to reduce hunger and malnutrition, ensuring that all people have adequate, safe and nutritious food to maintain healthy and productive lives. The Office provides humanitarian assistance in the event of disasters. “It’s a good experience; I’ve been able to gain a lot of knowledge and skills in the food security sector and also in disaster preparation and response,” Chántale says.
In 2018 the U.S. Embassy in Haiti paid tribute to Chántale in recognition of her performance with the USAID FFP Office in monitoring and reporting on the drought situation facing that country. “As a result, FFP Washington granted FFP Haiti eight million dollars to help Haitians suffering from the impact of the drought in the Northeast and Central Plateau departments. I am very grateful and proud to be able to contribute to the improvement of the food security of these vulnerable people,” she stated.
This Zamorano graduate reaffirms her commitment to her fellow Haitians, and her plan is to continue supporting vulnerable communities. Chántale intends to strengthen her knowledge and experience in Risk and Disaster Management through specialization in that area, because “Haiti is one of the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters in the world, and with climate change our vulnerability is worsening. During the last few years we have been impacted by these circumstances, therefore, there is a great need to reduce risk and strengthen the resilience of communities,” she adds.
Chántale also expressed a desire to help young people who seek to study at her alma mater, an institution to which she is still linked 14 years after graduating, since she formerly served as a member of the Haitian chapter of the Association of Graduates of the Pan American Agricultural School (AGEAP-Haiti), currently supports the Zamorano admission exams in-country, and provides financial support to Haitians with difficulty in enrolling in the University.