While we still work on many of these projects, they are not our main, present focus. However, we are always critiquing past projects, exploring ways to improve them for a greater good, and measuring the overall effectiveness (cost/benefit). Our goal is to develop sustainable projects that can be easily replicated in other parts of Haiti and, eventually, in other countries.
Harvested food not only provides nutrition but also the potential for income. Any food beyond what a family needs can be sold, providing money for the family to make other household purchases, save or send their children to school. Since school attendance is rare in impoverished Haitian communities, the greenhouse project can be transformative for entire families.
Part of the measurement of program success is in its sustainability. When a family is able to eat better, sell some of their harvest for additional income, and make timely loan payments, they are able to sustain their greenhouse. They are now able to train another family and help them achieve the same success. Over time, our hope is that entire communities will be eating more nutritious food, sending kids to school and improving both their immediate and long-term economic situations.
We have developed and constructed one tilapia farm and are now beginning to gather data and measure the cost-benefit. This is an important part of our process before deciding whether to build a second tilapia farm.
We have delivered medical goods and have supported patients in need by providing food for them while they are receiving medical care in one of several Port-au-Prince hospitals.
We raised funds and many volunteers traveled with us to build a school that now services over 200 students per day.
We continually give out microfinance loans as needed. As part of our greenhouse project, if a family needs a microfinance loan to build their greenhouse, we will enter into the process with them. We have a very high repayment rate.
In the past, we have partnered with two different Haitian orphanages—House of Hope Haiti and Children of Grace (which is part of Mission of Grace). We continue to partner with Children of Grace in their work, and are also now focusing on the children who have moved on from the orphanage and are transitioning into independent living.