Organic (Program) Growth In Haiti
Written by Plant With Purpose on May 22, 2014 in General
Here in the States, curiosity causes us to want to know what our neighbors are up to. That intrigue does not stop on your block. The same inquisitiveness happens with Plant With Purpose partnering communities as the program spread from village to village organically. When someone sees their neighbor succeeding, they want to jump onboard. Instead of imposing our programs onto new areas, we are usually invited into villages to coach, train, and provide the tools needed so that families can change their own circumstances.
Shalou is a farmer and father who started to notice the work being done along the road leading from Foret de Pins to his home in Solyèt, Haiti. He tracked down Guy Paraison’s phone number, Plant With Purpose Haiti’s country director, and asked if Plant With Purpose could start working in his community too.
Guy told Shalou to organize a community meeting and invite as many people from Solyèt as possible. Nearly 200 people showed up to learn more about Plant With Purpose and our three-part approach to development — environmental, economic, and spiritual. The group was then asked to meet again without the presence of a Plant With Purpose representative to determine if they’d wanted to move forward with a partnership. The community voted with a resounding yes and Solyèt sent in their official application. In September 2013, Plant With Purpose began investing in community catalysts like Shalou, teaching them how to plant on hillsides and integrate trees into their farms.
Through the partnership, Shalou began growing citrus, guava, papaya, plantains, tomatoes, and eggplant. This father of two shares, “I did not expect that I could transform this farm but when God is with you, He can surely perform miracles. … I see the hand of God in Plant With Purpose and I want to transform my farm so that others around me may see how creation is dependent on people.”
We couldn’t have said it better. His farm has seen rapid progress and Shalou is eager to share what he’s learning with the rest of Solyèt. Best of all, Shalou is dreaming about his future. He plans to buy livestock and start a business breeding and selling goats.
Plant With Purpose is committed to seeing partnerships develop with communities. It is their initiative and their invitation that creates ownership. And it is community members like Shalou who are driving change — change for their families, for their farms, for their communities, and for their country.