92 Bowery St., NY 10013

+1 800 123 456 789

About Jou Nouvo

Our Story

The spirit of Haitian culture is an important part of Jou Nouvo’s mission. As Kerline Tofuri, Jou Nouvo Founder and Board President explains, “Growing up in Bon-Repos in a family of farmers, Haitian culture has its roots in our belief of ‘Konbit’, which means working together as a team, a tribe, to complete a task through until the end. There is joy, singing, and dancing. There is learning and laughter. There is a picture of people coming together to exchange ideas, encouragement, and empowerment to realize concrete or transformative change for the welfare of everyone, for self, for community, and for Haiti as a country.”

Retaining the spirit of the Haitian culture is for each participant of Jou Nouvo to find deep within themselves the ability to be or become independent, whether it be via education or work. Despite their struggles, they are strong, and they are together. As a group, we are a family. Everyone at Jou Nouvo can express their views in any language that they feel comfortable with. We all strive to respect our environment and to treat each other with honesty and kindness.

Above all, at Jou Nouvo we serve everyone with dignity, regardless of their religious beliefs or economic situation.
We serve the Bon-Repos community in Haiti. Bon-Repos is about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Until the late 1970s, Bon-Repos was known for its vast open space and its rich soil which was ideal for agricultural production. Today, Bon-Repos is referred to as a poor suburb that is overpopulated with minimal land left for farming. In Bon-Repos, private schools, churches, shops, and open markets are in abundance. However, access to health clinics, libraries, and free public schools is very limited. As seen in Haiti’s current events, crime and unemployment are high and nutrition and health conditions are declining. Jou Nouvo was created to address the needs and aspirations of the Bon-Repos community.
Quote image
Jou Nouvo

Jou Nouvo came from the first conversation I 
had with old friends, women that I grew up with, when I went back to Haiti in 2017 after many years in US. I saw the struggle they were having because they didn’t have access to education. 
I saw the determination they had to send their kids to school because they knew this was the only way out, but they couldn’t. And as a group, we decided it was a new day. We decided that we were going to change things instead of sitting and waiting and feeling desperate. It was a commitment to each other that there was going to be a new day in Bon-Repos.

Kerline Tofuri
Quote image

It’s heartbreaking as a parent to think you 
can’t send your child to school. It just warms 
your heart to see what education does. Education 
is that spark of hope. It opens the possibility 
for community gathering, learning and progress.

John Huycke
Our Founder
Kerline Tofuri photo
Kerline Tofuri

Jou Nouvo Founder and President

BA Cultural Anthropology, Social Services
Field, Family Advocate

In 2007, Kerline Tofuri became Founder of Jou Nouvo-New Day, Inc. by offering adult literacy classes as a platform 
to address educational, social, economic, and health inequalities with and for families in Bon-Repos, Haiti.

Kerline holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is 
a trained instructor of English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Kerline is currently a Family Advocate with the Community Advocacy Program (CAP), a program of the Center for Community Health Education, and Research Service (CCHERS) at Northeastern University’s, Office of 
Urban Health Programs and Policy, the Bouve College 
of Health Sciences.

Our Chairman
John Huycke photo
John Huycke

Chairman of the Board

Business Executive, MBA, CPA

John Huycke is an international business executive with 
an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, a CPA from Ontario, Canada, and a Bachelor of Commerce from Queens University in Kingston, Canada. Having lived and worked 
in several countries in Europe and North America, John brings a broad perspective to implementing our mission 
in the community.

John and his family sponsor 8 girls in Tanzania, India, Peru, and Haiti. They especially cherish the moments of being warmly welcomed in Bon-Repos by Leetchmie, Medjine, Chrislove, and the extended Jou Nouvo family. In close partnership with Kerline, the Huycke family is deeply engaged in growing Jou Nouvo’s initiatives and launching new education opportunities including university scholarships (HYEF) and the Girls Scholars Program.

John is especially proud of realizing our long-standing dream to build Bon-Repos’s first and only Community Center which now serves as a badly needed safe-haven and vibrant gathering place for families, children, and staff.

Our Team in Haiti

Jou Nouvo group photo
A Cycle of Hope photo

Lynn Balmir, Program Director

I really enjoy spending time with them because as a woman myself I think this is amazing being able to empower young girls and watch them empower each other as well.

Cycle of Hope photo
Chrislie Rosier, Operations Manager
“At Jou Nouvo, they value your capacity, your input. I can count on my colleagues. They want you to give your best because they want what’s best for Jou Nouvo.”
Child Sponsorship photo
Elta Pierre-Louis
Child Sponsorship Coordinator

“Haiti is a beautiful land. All the bad situations we’re dealing with right now are temporary. That’s why Jou Nouvo’s work, to make a meaningful difference in the local community, is most needed. I believe our services can be expanded to the whole country.”

Our Team in the United States

Nickenson Romage photo
Nikenson Romage

Development Officer
Bachelor's degree in administrative management, Mentor

From 2019 to 2023, Nikenson Romage led the operations of Jou Nouvo-New Day, Inc. in Haiti as Program Director. During this time, he brought one of our flagship projects 
to fruition by successfully overseeing the construction 
and launch of our beautiful community center. He then implemented our Bon-Repos leadership succession by developing our current Program Director Lynn Balmir 
to be well positioned to succeed him.

Nikenson holds a bachelor's degree in administrative management from Quisqueya University in Haiti. 
He is currently based in the USA, where he has joined 
our US team as Development Officer to continue the 
cycle of hope. He is a Lead Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta.

Cathy Huycke photo
Cathy Huycke

Sponsorship Coordinator

Cathy and her family began sponsoring children in Tanzania, Peru and India in 2006 and in Haiti, with Jou Nouvo in 2014. Inspired by Jou Nouvo's work and dedication to educating children, Cathy later became Sponsorship Coordinator for the Children and University Scholarship Programs.

A graduate of MBA from the Ivy Business School at University of Western Ontario, London Canada and a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, Cathy is also a Chartered Financial Analyst. Cathy worked several years in Global Asset Management, including Director and Department Head for Merrill Lynch’s Discretionary Asset Management group at Merrill Lynch in Geneva, Switzerland before moving to a non-profit focus.

Community Center photo
Quote image

Over the years, I’ve had the greatest opportunity to witness the positive and lasting changes Jou Nouvo’s work is making in the lives of people in my community. 
I see the women in our Adult Literacy program show up to our afternoon classes with their baskets of goods on their heads after a long day of street vending. As they go through the program, I hear them express their satisfaction at being able to write their names, sign their children’s report cards or endorse bank cheques. They are happy to be able to read songs and Bible verses in church, and read stories to their children. Not to mention, many of them have their children in our Child Sponsorship Program, who have only been able to start school thanks to Jou Nouvo.

Our Board

Jou Nouvo Advocates

Se lè ou nan bezwen, ou konnen ki moun ki zanmi ou
Only in moment of need, you know who your true friends are