Goat Programs – Young goats are provided to children, along with training in their care. With the help of their families, these girls and boys raise the baby goats to provide milk, offspring (more baby goats), and meat for family use and to sell for income. In many cases, the income is used to pay for school, as there is no free public education in Haiti. Each child is required to give their goats’ first baby to the program for another child to raise. We are still raising money for more goats, as there are many families hoping to join the program.
Crops – Etienne and his employees bring crop knowledge, high-quality seeds, and assistance in marketing their produce to farmers. Besides increased incomes, people are healthier because of the introduction of food crops with better nutritional value and higher yields than the limited range of plants previously available in the area.
Internships – Etienne works with American University in Les Cayes, developing agronomy and veterinary courses and training interns.
Reforestation and Erosion Control – Etienne enrolled volunteers to plant and care for seedlings in a shared garden space in Les Anglais. As these trees mature, they are transplanted by area farmers on bare hillsides to help retain and rebuild the soil, and eventually reduce the frequent flooding of low-lying farms and towns. Another exciting program in this category uses cacao production to both grow new forests and provide a significant source of income for thousands of Haitian families. Coffee has been a major cash crop in Haiti, but with the arrival of the coffee berry borer beetle in the Caribbean islands and the droughts that have accompanied climate change, that industry is rapidly waning. Cacao plants are better suited to the new weather conditions, and the time is right: the worldwide demand for chocolate is increasing faster than production.