Our Story

NEGES: Nest for Educational Growth and Environmental Safety.

Founded in February 1997 by two Haitian-American educators living in Brooklyn. Yoleine Gateau-Esposito a former guidance counselor, and James Philemy a math teacher. Mr. Philemy is now a Public School Principal in Queens.


Prior to starting the organization, for two decades, the duo have been traveling to their native country helping with financial and programmatic support. And, one day they asked themselves the question "We asked ourselves, ‘Why can’t we do in Haiti what we do with kids here in Brooklyn?" Thus formed the seed that nourished the idea of forming the NEGES Foundation. A community based not-for-profit organization they hoped would be self-sustaining, with a focus on youth and the environment.


“We see protecting the environment as integral to education,” Gateau-Esposito explains. “They are not separate issues. We feel that the best way to begin developing consciousness about the environment is to start teaching children when they are young.”


Since February 1997, NEGES Foundation has served as a vital Haitian-American led non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.


We operate in Léogâne, Haiti where we work with townspeople and post-earthquake internally displaced families in Dampus (a rural area with three encampments.)



Photo credit: Natalie Keyssa