We were recently in Haiti, and the inevitable happened. I’ve fallen in love again with this beautiful country, and its even more beautiful people! I have many updates to share with you, our wonderful supporters, but first a thank-you for such a wonderful send-off.
Our recent Sunday Stroll in the Garden event was so lovely, and a celebration of all our work in Haiti. The image of so many people enjoying the garden, listening to our talented musicians, enjoying wonderful food and drinks, as well as enjoying the company of many friends – all in support of, and helping CFFL agricultural students with scholarships and the means to continue their studies remains etched in my mind. I thank all who made this event such a success.
We left for Haiti the day after the garden event, and upon arriving I felt at home once again!
The road we traveled this trip was rugged, and reminded me of the first time I came up and over the mountain to reach the Central Plateau. When we arrived at the campus, the welcome and smiling faces of our friends quickly eased the pain of the trip, and allowed us to happily renew our commitment to the work we are doing here.
This new route also showed us the continuing needs in the rural areas where families are still living in the most basic of circumstances – no facilities, water carried in buckets from whatever source is nearest, and little access to any form of sustenance, which still must be cooked on a charcoal fire.
As the rainy season has started, the hillsides have become green again, and crops are growing in the gardens, mangos are in season so all the kids can be seen enjoying this incredible fruit, with juice dripping down their chins and all over their clothes.
Food Security Program
Our days were filled with visits to our various projects, meetings with families in the Family Food Security program, and women leaders who have started their own savings and loan associations, and who can benefit from short term loans to help with small projects or in emergencies. This need has led to training and classes in entrepreneurship, accounting, and business management at CFFL, our agricultural school.
They are amazing groups, full of wonderful stories of their successes, their newly planted cottage gardens, their children who are now able to go to school, and they are proud of their own management of finances. Great thanks to Fondation CHANEL for their three-year commitment to this project!
The goats are looking great, kids arriving at a regular rate, and the planting of 5,000 trees this year at Lachateau is well underway. We were on site for the planting of 150 mango trees, the fruit of the future. We now have 750 lime trees, which are producing beautiful fruit and we are looking for a suitable market to buy our produce. Our nurseries are full of ornamental trees and shrubs for our campus, and for market. Many are in full bloom with their red blossoms gleaming along the roadsides and beside rivers and lakes.
Ten-year Celebration for CFFL
The week-long celebration of 10 Years of the Centre de Formation Fritz Lafontant (CFFL) culminated in a full day of activities on the campus, including sales of our farm produce such as bananas, limes, coconuts, flowers, trees, and meals prepared by our kitchen staff. Additionally, we enjoyed the finals of the soccer tournament comprised of eight different teams from around the community. Much excitement as CFFL and Corporant met in the finals, and after very intensive playing, in front of more than one thousand spectators, the game had to be decided by a kickoff! CFFL was victorious, much to the delight and overwhelming exuberance of team and crowd alike! A totally exhausting day, but equally as much fun.
To reassure family and friends alike, we were completely safe, and the drama and chaos of Port au Prince was far away and unfelt. We always have security with us, and if travelling we go with two cars, so no worries.
We are very proud of our Haitian team and all they have managed to do in difficult conditions. We are moving ahead with continued plans for more activities, more families, more production from the farms, and of course more students, all leading to more possibilities. Thank you for your support!
C’est tout pour maintenant…that’s all for now folks,