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It’s been almost two – no, three? Three years since I solicited donations for a volunteer project with the Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti. Haiti has been in the news recently so it’s been on my mind.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I kinda accidentally sailed into a small Haitian island called Ile A Vache in 2013. I was immediately warmed by their hospitality and genuine way of life, and couldn’t wait for an excuse to return someday.
I found that excuse and returned in 2015. I went with the Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti on a mission to build a poultry farm to address malnutrition, distribute sails to the fishermen, and improve the school in the village of La Hatte. It was a life-changing opportunity and we were able to call the trip a big success!
Ile A Vache was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and multiple heavy rains have caused disastrous flooding since then. But they’ve bounced back and I’m pleased to share a report from Mandy Thody, Director of GSF. She is there now and has provided some photos and updates.
- Primary school enrollment is now 100%.
- Zero malnutrition in the villages.
- 200 chickens per month for food and 270 eggs per day. Some of that is being sold to other villages as a source of income.
- The chicken facility is producing a large volume of high-quality compost for the farm programs.
- All children in La Hatte have received toothbrushes from donation from an American dentist.
- There is a booming agricultural program led by agronomist Anousse Paul, also contributing to better nutrition and income from sales of crops.
- A robust swim training program is starting in La Hatte, to spread island-wide in the future. Many fishermen don’t know how to swim, and neither do the children. One resident I met on my trip, Nestor, recently visited the United States for a few weeks to observe swim lessons and learn techniques. Over 2,000 bathing suits have just been donated.
Ile A Vache is a beautiful island with a simple way of life. The people are wonderful and inviting, and the children have huge dreams and aspirations. It’s exciting to see that they’re well on their way.
Photos from Mandy’s Jan/Feb 2018 trip:
Some photos from my 2015 trip: