Continued from 2016 Year in Review Series Part 2
February 9, 2017
“But thus saith the Lord, even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.”
— Isaiah 49:25
Our Child Sponsorship program is a great way to reach out to the poor and provide a future for thousands of Haitian children every day. Sponsored children can attend school, acquire Christian education, eat hot, nutritious meals each day, and receive medical attention when they are in need. There is no greater gift than your love and compassion to a child in need.
In Haiti, even the poorest children have dreams. Whatever their future holds for them, they all have a desire, and that is to go to school. They know that going to a good Christian school is much more than learning to read and write. It also means that they will become part of a special community.
Every parent desperately hopes that they can find food for their children, and somehow get them into a school. Here is a mother’s plea for help: Marie Cleman, a Haitian mother of four children, says, “The most important things right now are putting my kids in school and finding some help to feed them. Getting any help would be the best thing I could do for my children.”
For so many Haitian families living in the “Regions Beyond,” to feed, clothe and educate their children is such a struggle. This is why our Child Sponsorship program is so important to these poor families. As we reach out to those in need, we are blessed by the sacrifice of our sponsors, partners, and so many people like you, who helped us bring hope to the children of Haiti. We cannot do it alone!
Please consider Child Sponsorship by calling the Love A Child office at 239-210-6107. Child Sponsorship is one of the greatest blessings in the world. These children will someday change lives, and maybe even the world. Pray about Sponsoring A Child today.
Gwo Maché Mirak (Grand Miracle Market)
In December we marked the second anniversary of our sustainability project, Gwo Maché Mirak (Grand Miracle Market). The marketplace was built to provide jobs and a clean, spacious environment for Haitians to sell their products and trades to the surrounding communities and visitors to this area. It is restoring dignity and hope for many of the poor, who just a few years ago lost everything during the earthquake and hurricanes that ravaged this country. Gwo Maché Mirak is now the largest open-air marketplace in Haiti and offers a bright future for the young people here. This new marketplace is a safe environment where families can bring their children to enjoy all that the marketplace has to offer while they do their shopping and socializing.
Gwo Maché Mirak is growing as a successful sustainability project in the Fond Parisien area of Haiti. Nelio, the marketplace manager, along with his staff are doing great work. For the people of Haiti, jobs and the ability to feed their families restores dignity among the suffering Haitian people. Also, utilizing new skills and earning a livelihood will allow everyone here to become part of the solution toward ending poverty in the region. The marketplace will soon be making a profit. All the profits will stay in the local area to address local needs, such as drilling wells for water in several villages, providing scholarships to children in need and blessing many poor families. Thank you, Pastor Jentezen Franklin and your partners for putting $1,000,000 into the marketplace!
Epi d’Or Restaurant
The restaurants at the marketplace are very popular with local folk, as well as visitors and the volunteers who come to Love A Child to help with many of our projects. A restaurant chain by the name of Epi d’Or is now open, and the community is very excited!
Poul Mirak is a unique social enterprise model that was established as a project for gaining self-sustainability and dignity through enterprise. Here at Love A Child, we knew we could improve the state of chicken farming in Haiti. As an organization, we are deeply committed to sustainable development initiatives to promote self-sufficiency for the Haitian people. With the help of Mike Welch of Harrison Poultry and the World Poultry Foundation, as well as Larry Guest and friends, the Poul Mirak chicken farm cooperative has taken huge steps toward reaching those goals.
Rad Hazelip, our Love A Child Assistant Executive Director, oversaw the operation and picked five eager locals to join the co-op. We equipped, trained, and now mentor these five members to offer a hand in lifting their community out of poverty. Our model not only provided a way for five local men to become independent businessmen who are now able to support their families, but it also accomplishes its key objectives for breaking the cycle of poverty.
Agricultural Training Center
There are numerous ways that we can help the people of Haiti, and we think that one of the best ways is to create long-term sustainability that increases food security for Haitian families. This was our challenge in developing sustainable agricultural practices. How would we teach an old Haitian farmer to embrace a new method of farming?
We started with a “training school” at the Love A Child Agricultural Training Center (ATC), and we are now in our second two-year Agricultural Training Program. We have a fresh new group of young men and women eager to learn and make a difference in their homes and communities. At the training pavilion, Wilner, our head trainer, demonstrates techniques for erosion control, composting, organic fertilizers, pest control, proper irrigation, and more. We also teach locals about “Farming God’s Way,” age-old methods to improve productivity and nutritive value, while preserving natural resources.
Recently, the Rotary Club of Walhalla, South Carolina, funded an agricultural extension project to introduce the ATC program in the village of Letant. Wilner showed us the progress made there. The community focused on making the project a success, and many people signed up to participate. Soon they will be harvesting their food, something they have never done. They are happy, hopeful and have pride in their farming project.
Thank you, Rad Hazelip, for your vision and hard work of putting your dream together. Thank you, Johnny, Paul, and Shelby Mahon for all your hard work putting in the only sprinkler system for gardens that we know of in Haiti. Thanks to Life Changers Church and Pastor Gregory Dickow from Chicago, Illinois for the funds to start the farm project. Lastly, thank you Foster Fries for supporting the Agricultural Training Center. We are grateful to all of our partners that have helped with this project by traveling here to build shade houses, to teach the local Haitians, or to provide financial support. Every gift is important!
The rapid deforestation of Haiti began during the colonial period and was later intensified when coffee production was introduced in 1730. The monoculture of coffee and fruit plantations throughout Haiti, and repeated tilling to control weeds, exhausted soil nutrients and led to rapid erosion. But the most important factor for today’s state of deforestation comes from the extreme reliance on trees for cooking fuel. Haitians have always burned wood charcoal for their cooking needs and the demand for charcoal has doubled over the last two decades, increasing the rate of deforestation.
On Earth Day in Haiti, everyone was so excited to be involved with the Tree Planting project. Rad Hazelip and Wilner worked tirelessly with our students and staff. Here they are planting Vetiver grass that will significantly reduce erosion.
We held an Earth Day and Tree Planting event in April, where everyone was planting trees in Miracle Village and Fond Parisien. We love trees! Even the children got the chance to plant trees. They are the future of Haiti, so we are teaching them at a young age how to take care of their land.
The Moringa tree is called the “Miracle Tree” because it has saved more lives in third world countries than any other plant. It is studied by numerous institutions worldwide for its ability to treat over 300 diseases. Love A Child’s aggressive approach to helping Haitians improve their environment includes the planting of at least 25,000 Moringa trees each year. Moringa Oleifera is a remarkable plant. The species is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas, where it has been cherished for thousands of years as a source of nutrition and for its healing capabilities. It also flourishes in many places around the world from Africa to Haiti.
Below is Madamn Sonia from Miracle Village with her helper. We have planted thousands of Moringa trees in Miracle Village, in our Love A Child Compound, and at the Agricultural Training Center as well. Once the leaves are picked and dried, Madamn Sonia uses a pestle (manch pilon) and hollowed out log to grind the Moringa leaves into a fine green powder. Moringa is considered one of the highest sources of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional values in the world! We use it in our Jesus Healing Center and our Malnutrition Center to treat a variety of conditions. It is an “entirely natural healing pharmacy!”
Please consider the impact you could make by contributing to our Sustainability Initiatives where Haitians learn the best practices for the successful transition toward self-sustainability. “Love is Something You Do!”
We look forward to 2017 and seeing all that God has intended for Love A Child. Thank you to our partners and sponsors who made all this happen in Haiti in 2016. Look for my next four part journal series of the 2016 Year in Review series to see all the things we have done with your help. God did so many great things that we had to divide my journal into several parts. Look for Part Four of this journal series.
God bless you,