Our first Board meeting of 2023 was devoted to reviewing and funding the new projects Etienne proposed for this year.
Water: Colse is a mountain village without a nearby water source. Residents have to walk down the mountain for water, then carry it back up. Etienne will buy water storage tanks and transport them to the village.
Goats: Etienne plans to start a goat program in Coquione, a village above Charbonnier. He needs money to buy the goats, transport them, and run the training program for the recipients.
Seeds: Etienne proposed buying seed for farmers in Les Anglais. We are requesting that he also buy additional seeds to restart the community garden on church grounds.
Agronomy Agent: Etienne recently hired a new agent, Mr. Legoute, to help farmers establish crops of cacao, coffee, and bananas in Bwa Picon. His pay is $600/quarter.
Transportation: Rebuild Etienne’s old, non-working motorcycle. Having this to use when he doesn’t need the truck will save a lot of expensive fuel and reduce wear and tear on the truck. We will buy the parts in the US and ship them to him through Agape Air.
Fuel: We need to send Etienne money to cover his increased fuel costs due to huge price increases in Haiti.
Amount to send Etienne (sent on 1/26/2023)
Motorcycle parts to buy in the US
We will continue to hold $6000 in reserve to repair the wells damaged in the August 2021 earthquake. Parts shortages, damaged roads, and too-busy well drillers have prevented us from being able to schedule the repairs. We’ll ask Etienne to check in with the well-drilling company to see if they are able to start work soon on these wells.
On Monday of this week, we sent the $6691 that was donated during the Christmas season for the Kids for Kidz goat program to Etienne so he can launch the first Class of ’22. Etienne says there is not a shortage now of those goats, so he won’t need to import any. Even the special billy goats he sources from the US Virgin Islands are available. How lucky is that?
However, there are still many issues that could affect the goat program schedule: COVID, fuel scarcity and exorbitant prices for fuel, government instability, and social unrest. Etienne and his agents have managed to get a lot of other major projects done over the last several months despite these challenges, so we’re hopeful that they will be able to prevail in this as well.
Etienne will first calculate the number of goats he can purchase, print up the correct number of curriculum books, and schedule the classes for the chosen children from the target village. He and his team will administer classes for the goat recipients over two Saturday mornings.
In parallel, he will buy the billies and nanny goats, gather them up, and deliver them on the Saturday of the children’s graduation. The total time is going to probably be about a month unless one of the issues mentioned earlier derail the schedule.
Haiti Ap Grandi continues to help those hit hardest by last August’s earthquake through our many partners on the ground in Haiti: Etienne Francois and his team at Passion for Haiti, Reciprocal Ministries International, and the Les Anglais church and school.
Earthquake Relief October – December
Water access for families and communities is a key focus for us. Many wells went dead after the earthquake and water storage cisterns were destroyed, leaving many thousands of people without water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Thanks to you, Etienne and his team have already delivered twenty of the 300-gallon and 500-gallon chatados (water tanks) and plan to deliver more soon.
In November, they finished planting tens of thousands of coffee and banana plants in Camp Perrin, in the hills north of Les Cayes. These provide a cash crop for farm families, and they are part of reforesting the steep mountain slopes because trees are planted along with them to provide shade and anchor the soil.
In association with Heifer International, Etienne’s agents bagged and distributed 14 tons of seed to farmers in December. 18,500 lbs. of seed corn and 9700 lbs. of black beans were given to 400 members in 6 farmers’ organizations in Jacmel and 500 members in 6 organizations in the south Les Cayes area. Etienne reports that “everything is well distributed and farmers are happy to receive the seeds.”
All this work and travel was accomplished despite the critical shortage of fuel throughout Haiti, a testament to the resourcefulness and dedication of Etienne and his team.
Through the Christmas season, Community of Faith Church in Lake Oswego has been raising funds for the goat program we like to call “Kids for Kidz”. Etienne has identified the next group of school children to undergo training and receive one or two goats each to raise and help support their families.
We have also asked Etienne to work with the local well drilling company that drilled all the wells in Les Anglais. We need them to refurbish/repair many of the key wells in the area, as they were damaged in the earthquake. We hope this will be done by the start of the dry season in late January.
Our next steps are to continue to find, buy, and distribute seed to more farmers who have little or nothing to plant. The lack of seeds and starts is due to to the combination of the summer earthquake destroying farms and roads, flooding from hurricanes that followed, and disruption of the transportation for needed products because of continuing political unrest in Port Au Prince.
Finally, there are so many people still living under tarps after their homes and villages were destroyed by the earthquake. We hope to purchase roofing materials to help them rebuild their homes.
We gave funds to RMI to provide food relief to our partner church in Les Anglais. Thankfully their water well system is still working and all buildings are functional. The school is open and serving a hot lunch daily. Enrollment in the Les Anglais primary grades is 600 children and their secondary school serves 200 students. Boco has 80 primary school children and Colse has 170. At the Les Anglais school, they also have a trade school primarily for adults, with classes available to secondary students as well.
This photo is from the recent parent/teacher meeting. Thank you for supporting the work that Pastor Bonel Girard and his amazing wife Monique do in Les Anglais.
We are extremely grateful for your continued support for Haiti Ap Grandi’s programs. With the prolonged political and economic situation in Haiti, funding and assisting our Haiti partners, including Etienne and his agents, is more critical than ever. We are so thankful for Etienne’s passion, perseverance and commitment and we are working hard to provide him and his team the resources they need to do the most effective work possible.
Best wishes to you for peace and health in 2022!
Jim Shaw and the Haiti Ap Grandi Board of Directors: Tim Kitch, Robert Jackson, Cindy Jackson, and Kathy Engholm
This slide show of short photo stories illustrates current activities in a few of our main initiatives: Goats, Coffee & Cocoa, Hurricane Matthew Recovery (new roofing in Colse village), and Clean Water. The Bonus “People” section includes a beautiful photo of three generations in Etienne’s family and pictures of team members and Haitian friends during the 2020 Haiti trip.
Use the Back/Forward arrow buttons in the lower left corner of the viewer to step through the slides. Use your browser’s Refresh button to go back to Slide 1; it is usually a circular arrow in the address bar.
Unfortunately the slide viewer isn’t visible on the Home page. To see it, either tap on the “Photos from Key Programs” title above or use this link: “Photos from Key Programs”.
At our first-ever virtual meeting of the Haiti Club, Etienne called in through WhatsApp to update us on his activities and plans. It was wonderful to see and hear him. This post is a summary of the news he shared. (Tap here to read his Speaker’s Notes.)
With the money that Haiti Ap Grandi (thanks to our generous donors) sent for well repair, 8 wells have been fixed and the communities now have safe drinking water. The well near the beach village not only had a worn-out and broken head, but repeated floods washing past it carried tons of soil away, leaving the concrete pad and well inaccessible. Loads of rock and gravel were used to build up the area around this well and a larger concrete pad was built around and under the existing pad, so the well should be fine for a long time.
200,000 coffee trees, a new “Female Entrepreneur Micro Loan Program”, and more goats for kids.
The Passion for Haiti (PfH) agronomy program has been very busy with ongoing programs and developing new ones in response to the economic effects of Covid-19 and damage from extreme weather. Etienne Francois and his team are growing over 200,000 coffee trees in a nursery, and Haiti Ap Grandi will provide funds to get the plants into the fields next spring.