Making our community a place people want to LIVE

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

6 Oct 2021

On Sunday morning, we all thanked God for giving the vision for the water holes and providing the resources to carry it out. If Lemuel had not invested in digging these holes to catch rainwater run-off from the mountains, it is hard to imagine how our community would even be surviving today.


"For the young people, they want to buy land and plant trees...They want to live here, that's a great thing. Sometimes when you come from here, you go to school, [and] you don't want to come back. But, they want to come back and live here. That's development."

Manis

from The City of God documentary, soon to be released

First a little context: It will greatly help you understand what follows...


Perhaps you saw the story that made international news about thousands of Haitian migrants who congregated under a bridge in Texas while attempting to cross the border into the US (see example articles here and here). Most of them had originally left Haiti to seek a better life in Central or South American countries.


Recently, boatloads of people have been taking off by night from Gonaïves and even from Anse-Rouge aiming for the Florida coast. This is a phenomenon known as kantè in Haiti (see the song below).


Why are so many people willing to risk so much to get out of Haiti?


Survival. Desperation. Escape. Looking for a place where they can LIVE...

From the trenches:

Below is the music video for Istwa Dwòl (A Strange Tale), a famous song by well-loved Haitian artist BélO. Its words communicate the pain and despair felt by so many Haitians and the desperation that drives them to leave their country. I would highly encourage you to watch the full song (it includes an English translation). Not only is the music beautiful, but it poignantly captures a sorrow and a phenomenon that has become deeply ingrained in Haitian culture.


This helps to set the stage for one of the driving forces behind our passion for community development. If you look on our website, you will see that second to being followers of Jesus Christ,

We are Haitians

working hard to make our communities places we are proud to live in.

This part of our passion issues out of that pain and sorrow that drives so many Haitians to leave Haiti in search of a better life.

"I want here to be an example for Haiti. Haitians are not proud of Haiti, actually. When they say, ‘I hate it,’ sometimes I get discouraged. But, I want Haitians to know, they can if they want. We can change our country. Only we need to work together and work hard. See Haiti as your place. If we love it, we’ll do something best for it."

Manis

from The City of God documentary, soon to be released


"Community development is one way we aim to [embody Jesus'] love by reaching out to the needs around us in a way that empowers and maintains dignity."

(Quote from our website.)


There are many aspects to this. Some of them we have already written about extensively, such as water holes, Temporary Work Programs, and MACOL. Here we would like to highlight a few others that have been on our radar lately. All are designed with a similar purpose in mind: to develop strategies that can empower families in our community to be self-sustaining...ie, they don't have to leave their community and their country to survive and thrive.

Livestock Projects

Recently, thanks to a generous donation, we were able to fence in a large section of Tè Choute specifically for livestock development.


With the failure of gardens, many people rely even more heavily on their livestock for income. However, scanty rainfall also makes this a challenge. Even with the water holes to provide water for the animals, food remains a problem.


Over the past two years or so, Manis has put a lot of his personal energy into creating a vision for a plot of land that we refer to as Tè Choute. The primary focus of this project is to develop strategies for more effective and profitable animal husbandry--including goats and chickens--as well as successful agriculture through irrigation (more about that below).


This is part of the space dedicated to livestock production, which includes a chicken house currently under construction.


Agriculture Projects: Experiments in Irrigation

Last month, we installed piping from one of the water holes to the food gardens on the Clinic Land.

As we mentioned in the e-newsletter on September 24, the environ