Following the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, over half a million survivors fled the city of Port-au-Prince to stay with family and friends living in Haiti’s countryside. While loved ones received them with open arms, the need to provide food, water, shelter, clothing and medical care placed enormous strain on families – most rural Haitians survive on just $2 a day.
Thanks to the swift and kind support of countless supporters like you, the Lambi Fund of Haiti was able to utilize partnerships with rural grassroots organizations throughout Haiti to provide critical support. Emergency relief grants were issued to 44 grassroots organizations for members to purchase essentials like food, water, medical supplies, clothing and shelter. Just a few months later, another 41 grants were issued to Lambi Fund partners to address the increased food needs in rural communities. These grants purchased local seeds, tools, and other agricultural inputs to increase crop outputs and feed survivors.
In all, over $850,000 in emergency relief was provided to Haitians in need. Life essentials were provided to those most in need and bountiful harvests helped continue to provide displaced Haitians with food and basics. A very large thank-you is in order as this large relief effort would not have been possible without the steadfast support of people like you. Mesi ampil!
Considering that it has been over two and a half years since the earthquake, collecting emergency funds for earthquake relief is no longer appropriate. This is not to say, however, that work in Haiti is done. Lambi Fund is working tirelessly with the people of Haiti to build a more sustainable and viable future in Haiti and we hope that you will continue to support these efforts. You can click on the links to learn more about how Lambi Fund is Helping Haitian Families Get Back to Work, Building Latrines in Rural Haiti, Expanding Local Food Production in Rural Haiti, and more. Please share these efforts with family and friends and consider supporting one of Lambi Fund’s projects on a monthly basis.
From the Lambi Fund family and each and every one of our Haitian partners please accept our heartfelt thanks. Hand-in-hand, we are working together to build a better Haiti.
Mesi ampil for your generous support to the Haitian people! Your donations after the earthquake in Haiti helped aid families in dire need of assistance. Hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors fled the city of Port-au-Prince to stay with friends and family in the countryside following the quake. Many were injured and came wearing only the shirt on their back. These families needed food, water, shelter, clothing and medical care. Its because of people like you opened their hearts, that the Lambi Fund of Haiti was able to make emergency grants to 44 grassroots organizations. The groups used the grants to purchase life essentials like food, water and medical care for earthquake survivors that were staying in their homes.
Mr. Josephat, a member of a partner organization recalled tearfully:
"I had 21 people, strangers staying with me and my family. We did not think twice about welcoming them, but we had not yet figured out how they would be cared for or how they would be fed.
When we heard about Lambi Fund's program to help impacted families, I was so happy that I cried. I cried because I was touched and shocked that people who had been at the center of this disaster had the time to think about us.
I was so proud to be a member of a strong organization, and I really deeply understood why being organized is the path to a better life. We would have been left to our own devices without Lambi Fund's support."
Without your support, Lambi Fund would not have been able to make this emergency response possible. Thank you!
With over two years since the earthquake, Lambi Fund has moved from emergency relief to long-term rebuilding. This means our efforts are focused on building local economies, increasing food production, and promotion of the environment. Some current projects include: an ox-plow service to increase crop production, grain storage, community credit funds, building latrines, and community-led reforestation efforts. Check out some of Lambi Fund's other projects on GlobalGiving - your continued support as Lambi Fund works hand-in-hand with the people of Haiti towards long-term recovery is greatly appreciated!
Since the earthquake, the Lambi Fund of Haiti has more than doubled its number of active projects and is constantly expanding. This is proving to be exactly the case in 2012 as new projects with new organizations are being approved on a regular basis. One new partnership is with The Youth Association of Sel (AJS) to build a grain storage facility and to launch a community credit fund.
AJS is a group of youth members who came together to improve the quality of their lives and to increase opportunities for incomes in their community. In partnership with the Lambi Fund, AJS is working to build a grain storage facility that will purchase, store and sell affordable grain and seeds to farmers in the area. Currently, finding local and high quality seeds at a low price is quite difficult. Members have provided the land and labor, while Lambi Fund is providing the materials needed to build the facility.
In addition, AJS is looking to launch a community credit fund that will provide small loans to help 50 farmers purchase seeds, tools and other equipment for their crops. Access to small loans with low interest rates is incredibly tough to come by in Haiti, so this credit fund will offer members an invaluable opportunity to increase their crop inputs, grow more food and to make more profits in the market. In order to make this happen, Lambi Fund is providing the seed money for the creation of the credit fund and providing members with training in credit fund management and bookkeeping. Since the credit fund is community managed, once the loans are repaid, AJS can then issue loans to even more farmers in the area. The money stays in the community and the fund provides a cyclical way to keep reinvesting in the local economy!
Additional workshops in organizational capacity building and grain mill management are being provided to AJS members as well. Lambi Fund realizes that members need to be provided with the tools and skills necessary in order to manage and maintain successful business enterprises long after it's work is done.
Ultimately, this project is exciting because the grain storage facility and community credit fund will work in symphony to revive local agriculture and to create more employment opportunities in Sel, Haiti.
As part of Lambi Fund’s new projects for 2012, we are partnering with the Youth Association of Sel (AJS). This partnership is an effort to build a grain storage unit and to launch a community credit fund in Sel, Haiti. Lambi Fund is in the initial phase of helping AJS build a grain storage unit and is providing the capital needed to purchase seeds and to start a community credit fund. In the coming months, members of AJS will be trained on how to manage a microcredit fund, organizational capacity building, project management and how to operate a storage grain mill. This project will help 50 farmers purchase high-quality and affordable seeds for their crops while reviving local agriculture and providing more opportunities for employment in the community. This is an exciting first step in strengthening food security in rural Haiti!
In October of 2011, the Lambi Fund of Haiti’s board and staff members planned to spend three days in Southern Haiti to visit grain mills, sheep farming and ox-plowing projects. The plan was to stay in Les Cayes and travel daily to different project sites located in neighboring rural communities.
Unrelenting rains offered visitors a unique opportunity to understand how accelerated deforestation affects the realities of partner communities and Lambi Fund staff.
The first site visit to The Organization of Good Samaritans (OBS) was a suspense-filled journey as board and staff traveled on flooded roads, apprehensively watching the water levels rise as they moved further inland. The visit to this thriving grain mill (first funded by Lambi Fund eight years ago) had to be curtailed because of the risk posed by rapidly rising waters.
Staying in Les Cayes, a town of about 100,000 citizens, did not prove more comforting. Following three days of steady rainfall, cresting rivers and swollen ravines flooded the city and its surrounding rural communities.
Waist high flood waters in both rural and urban areas drove home the point that deforestation impacts Haitians on a regular basis.
For Lambi Fund staff, especially the regional coordinators, visits to project sites have become increasingly risky propositions, particularly during the rainy season. Roads become impassable at a moment’s notice, and journeys quickly turn life-threatening for staff traveling by car or motor bike.
So how does deforestation impact flooding? While statistics vary, most agree that tree cutting has reduced Haiti’s tree coverage from 1-4%. The resulting erosion of Haiti’s mountains has destroyed an estimated two-thirds of the country’s fertile farmland. This loss of trees has meant that arable soil, anchored to the land by their roots, is quickly washed away during the rainy season.
Consequently, without any soil and roots to hold water, a normal amount of water are not absorbed. As such, rainy seasons have turned Haiti into a landscape of overflowing rivers - carrying with them valuable top soil and causing immeasurable damage.
While the world holds its breath when forecasted hurricanes approach Haiti, not much attention is paid to the impact of the rainy season on farming communities.
For Lambi Fund’s partners, deforestation has transformed the rainy season from a much awaited source of irrigation to a season fraught with danger, one engendering unanticipated losses and devastation.
This was witnessed in the recent visit to the South, where some organizations lost 50% of their crops and about 80% of pastures for sheep were destroyed. This means that farmers, who accessed credit from the community-run mutual credit funds, will experience great hardships. Their repayment plans often hinge on the anticipated sale of crops. Meanwhile, sheep growers’ profitability is jeopardized since they will be forced to reinvest in the purchase and preparation of animal feed.
As this vulnerability becomes more apparent, appreciation for Lambi Fund’s reforestation efforts has grown. Partners have responded by participating enthusiastically in training workshops offered on reforestation and seedling cultivation. Members of organizations work collectively to build nurseries, care for seedlings, and replant young trees on their lands and in vulnerable watershed areas.
For the past ten years, Lambi Fund has been steadfast in its comprehensive, grassroots-driven reforestation efforts.
In addition to including a reforestation component in all funded projects, Lambi Fund has incorporated environmentally safe practices in other programmatic activities, most notably animal husbandry. Free grazing has been identified as a significant cause of deforestation and environmental degradation, particularly when goats and sheep are allowed to feed on young trees and seedlings. As a result, all Lambi Fund supported animal husbandry projects build enclosures where animals are kept. The offered workshops show farmers how to grow and preserve the forage needed to keep their animals well-fed and healthy even during the dry season.
Over the course of 10 years, Lambi Fund partners have prepared over 1.5 million seedlings and have planted 1.2 million tree saplings. It is estimated that 60% of these trees survive, meaning that about 720,000 trees have matured in communities throughout Haiti.
Lambi Fund also has plans to hire an agronomist with expertise in agro-forestry who will oversee all reforestation projects. In addition, staff members are exploring the use of grassroots-friendly GPS technology to better document the impact of Lambi Fund’s reforestation projects. Mapping reforestation progress will better allow Lambi Fund to see the strengths and weakness regarding tree planting efforts – allowing staff to enforce and adapt strategies as needed.
In spite of the daunting challenges presented to farmers by deforestation, they are not losing hope. Clermont Yogane Enold, a twenty-something farmer of the Association of Youth from Tet-Kole Bedo, summarized it most eloquently. When asked what they would do to address the losses sustained in the floods he replied: “We cannot give into despair, we will work the land, plant trees and grow our crops once again....”
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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