Still Meeting Needs in Haiti Six Years Later
Written by Plant With Purpose on January 12, 2016 in General
Following ringing in the New Year, Plant With Purpose’s attention quickly shifts to the fateful day when the earth shook and Haiti’s struggling infrastructure devastatingly crumbled. January 12, 2010 is a day forever etched in our memory.
Plant With Purpose is committed to long-term, sustainable development where root causes of poverty and environmental degradation are addressed. Relief and aid work is not in the organizational DNA of Plant With Purpose. Yet this disaster that gained international attention caused us to reevaluate how our partners on the ground could strategically be leveraged to help the thousands in need. For the local Haitian team, there was never a question as to whether or not to respond. One staff members lost his young son. Each and every team member lost friends or family. Within hours, they were at work rebuilding roads, delivering food, and helping where they could.
In the weeks following the earthquake, hundreds of thousands of people left the capital of Port-au-Prince, migrating to the rural villages. All of the seed that farming families had set aside for planting were quickly used to feed house guests from the city.
Plant With Purpose quickly shifted from food distribution to providing seeds to ensure a good harvest. More than 100 tons of local corn and bean seeds, as well as farm tools, were distributed allowing 6,000 farmers to care for their families.
Once these resources were distributed, Plant With Purpose implemented a “Cash for Work” program to provide productive activities and income for the thousands of displaced people. More than 4,300 internally displaced persons and their local hosts were employed. Core program goals including planting 240,000 trees and constructing over 360 miles of soil erosion barriers were the focus of this program.
On January 11, 2010, 2,603 families were involved in Plant With Purpose Haiti’s program. Six years later, that number has nearly doubled, and today we partner with 5,145 families in 107 communities.
Despite the hardships of poverty, weak governance, and lack of investment in rural communities, Plant With Purpose partnering families are realizing the power that they hold to transform their own futures.
Jesumene Pierre, a mother from Fonds-Verrettes shares, “Plant With Purpose is a model of empowerment.”
“Thanks to Plant With Purpose, my husband has learned a lot of things that can help us earn money, especially through our savings-and-loan group.” After putting into practice the sustainable agriculture techniques taught by Plant With Purpose, Jesumene states, “On my farm I have soil conservation barriers and trees. In spite of drought, I find food for my animals and my land is productive because it is protected.”
Perhaps the most encouraging transformation is Jesumene’s relationship with God. She explains, “Plant With Purpose is the first institution that came to Fonds-Verrettes and teaches us about the Bible. They gave me a Creole Bible. Before I couldn’t understand the Bible because we only use the French Bible in church. Thanks to Plant With Purpose, I now read, understand, and practice the Word in my life.”
“Thank you Plant With Purpose for all that you have done for us in Fonds-Verrettes.”
As farming families like Jesumene’s work to improve their lives and land in Haiti, hope is found. Six years have passed since the earthquake. Despite major setbacks for the country, Plant With Purpose continues to impact more and more families who are quick to embrace hope and ready for the challenge to transform their lives.
To help increase Plant With Purpose’s impact in Haiti, consider sponsoring a village.