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Salesforce and Haiti: 5 years later

By July 9, 2015

By: Stephane Maurin, Principal Success Manager, Salesforce

Since the earthquake that impacted Haiti in 2010, Salesforce has supported the rebuilding of the country by providing free licenses to any Haiti based organisation, and has been engaged in different ways, supporting governmental social programs, and initiatives of local non-profits organizations and businesses

Through my volunteering, I have been privileged to work with some amazing people who are making an inspiring effort to improve the country and make Haiti a better place for everyone there. The passion and innovative approach to using Salesforce that I’ve seen has been really impressive!

Two Important Milestones for Haiti

In the last few days, the Salesforce Community in Haiti has achieved two great milestones; Girbson Bijou became the first Salesforce Certified professional in Haiti, passing the Salesforce Developer Certification on his first attempt. Well done Girbson!

Also, the Haiti User Group met for the first time in Pétionville to discuss how to support each other and promote the use of Salesforce in their respective organizations and more broadly in Haiti.

Meet Girbson Bijou : The First Salesforce Certified Professional in Haiti

Girbson BijouGirbson Bijou is our first certified Salesforce Administrator in Haiti! Native of the city of Grand-Goâve and having graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Electronics in 2013, he now works as an IT Support and Database Specialist for Habitat for Humanity in Port-au-Prince. When he’s not working, Girbson enjoys playing music, especially the saxophone, trumpet, guitar and tuba – he also teaches music and conducts in his spare time.

1) Why Salesforce and why did you decided to do the Salesforce Certification exam?

Salesforce is a powerful tool. Being able to access data at any time and in any place was an important deciding factor for my organisation when choosing a tool. It allows us to connect our entire organisation, so we can communicate better, improve relationships and better carry out our mission.

I like the fact that the platform is secure, flexible and customizable. Salesforce allows me to be more efficient in my role. Because I can develop my own applications on the platform, it means I can quickly analyse data, and produce and publish reports easily.

I decided to take the exam because I wanted to test my knowledge and give myself an international standard. Now, I am not only a professional in one place, I am a professional all around the world.

2) How did you prepare for the exam?

It was not easy for me because I did not take any onsite classes. That meant I had to work a lot harder, and spent many nights studying. For the exam itself, I was afraid of an electricity cut but when found a generator, I was more relaxed.  I want to thank my family, my friends and colleagues who supported me, invested in me and contributed to this successful achievement.

3) What are your next plans?

For me, becoming the First Salesforce Certified Professional in my country Haiti is an honor which I accept with a lot of humility and I am very proud to wave my country’s flag high. I want to improve and increase my skills. To do so, I hope to continue to participate in the User Group meetings so I can be kept updated, meet professionals in the domain, and to share and gain experience. I also want to get more Salesforce Certifications to become stronger and better qualified to carry our Salesforce projects, wherever I may end up in the world.

Meet Johnny Celestin: Haiti Salesforce User Group Leader

1) Johnny, how did the first User Group meeting go?

This first meeting was very exciting for all of us and particularly for me.  It was a great opportunity to meet so many others who use Salesforce to help their organizations, to learn of their experience but most importantly to develop new friendships.

HaIti User Group

First Haiti User Group with Leader, Johnny Celestin (with chicken :))

2) What were the biggest takeaways? Next steps?

What most stood out to all of us but to me in particular was to hear how Salesforce positively changed the organizations using it… for the better.  Our next steps are to support other colleagues who want to become certified and personally I would like to expand the use of Salesforce to other NGOs and also to the private sector in Haiti.  We have all agreed to meet again soon and to use our different skills, whether in management, business process redesign or coding to help each other make Salesforce the tool of excellence at our various organizations.

Bon Bagay Ayiti! We are looking forward to seeing continued success and more certifications in Haiti!

Haiti User Group Haiti


Are you a Salesforce user in Haiti? Want to connect and collaborate with other Salesforce users and grow your network? Why not join the Salesforce Haiti User Group!?

Check out some of the work we’ve done in Haiti in the past!

Bon Bagay: Good Stuff, Great Karma, and Giving Back in Haiti

Salesforce Mission Haiti (in French)

A Fruitful Encounter (The Haitian Project, Inc.)