Voix et Actions on August 11, How to bring lasting prosperity to Haiti? It turns out not by funneling outside funds into Port au Prince, but by empowering small rural communities through tangible economic opportunity.
Voix et Actions began when a group of high school friends came together after the earthquake and committed themselves to help their fellow Haitians. Voix et Actions has helped over families people in the Trouin area.
Chicks in action
In Julymy family traveled to Haiti to spend time with grantee partners, and meet new Chicks in action, all doing remarkable work helping to improve the lives of Haitians, one person, one community at a time. This was the first global physical site visit for my family and the experience was truly transformative. Haiti is an extraordinarily beautiful country with breathtaking coastlines, lush tropical landscapes, expansive rice fields, and spectacular mountain ranges.
I was surprised at the diversity of the landscape in a country only about the size of Maryland.
One of the highlights of our trip was traveling over heart-pounding for those of us afraid of heights mountain ranges to reach our grantee partner, Voix et Actions VA at their Village Farm in Trouin. We met James Duracin, the director, and several other team members.
Picture a tidy farm in a little village, high in the mountains, Chicks in action chicks in the hen house, goats roaming through the trees on long ropes to keep them from wandering too far, little piglets suckling their mothers in the pig pen, and hundreds of small tilapia growing in the fishery. Many of these animals will be sold at a discount to women in the community, who will then sell them at the market for a profit.
Some animals will be bred by the beneficiaries and the offspring sold for a profit. Other animals are sold at the Port au Prince to help sustain the program.
VA also provides vocational training in baking, tailoring, and mechanics. Chicks in action fishery program is in the pilot stage.
VA is providing both a source of income and an additional source of protein to the community. Sixty percent of the fish are sold to the community, and forty percent are sold at the Port au Prince market.
VA is hoping to Chicks in action to increase the number of fish by improving the quality of the fishery; and eventually by building a second fishery. We enjoyed seeing the chicks that arrived a few days earlier. The hen house is clean and cool as the chicks scurry around eating food and drinking water. The chicks take about 45 days before they Chicks in action sold at the market.
Future plans include installing an incubator to increase profitability. Sarah and Michaela loving the little chicks. VA designed and operates a goat breeding and distribution program, and currently has about sixteen goats.
Goat breeding is intended to improve the genetics of the goats by breeding a female Haitian goat with a male from the BOER species, to produce larger than normal offspring.
After six months, the young goat is worth more than the purchase price of the female. Jhonson Joseph, manager of the goat program. We were lucky enough to visit soon after two of the sows had litters, and more than twenty baby piglets were running around the pig pen. Mama Chicks in action her 10 piglets in May We also met several women who sell livestock at the market.
We asked questions and learned more about their lives. Making extra money by selling livestock has given these women more economic security and the ability to see beyond day-to-day necessities. It turns out that farming is one of Chicks in action only means of livelihood in the region and the unpredictable environmental conditions makes farming a less than secure way to support a family.
Four of the entrepreneurs of the livestock program. People leave the rural countryside due to lack of opportunity. This migration fills the cities with ghetto towns and sends young people out of the country to find a way to support their families. According to many we spoke Chicks in action, this is degrading the social fabric and negatively impacting Haitian culture and community. By giving the community another industry and means of secure income, the hope is that the rural exodus plaguing the country will abate.
The narrative that many in the US and outside of Haiti hold is one of a poor country plagued by disaster and corruption. Much has been reported about the mismanagement and misallocation of relief funds from the hurricane in In my view, this is a misconception.