Mar 1, 2016

Empowering rural communities and looking ahead

Veterinary training
Veterinary training

We have been working with our nine model communities for many years now, and it has been a pleasure and a priviledge every step of the way. We work with communities in a rural setting, living in some of the world's most harsh conditions. These people live in isolated mountain areas, away from all the modern convenience which we so readily take for granted. There is no electricity, no water, no hospitals, no stores.. Our beneficiaries live simple, but also difficult lives. They work the land, they sell what they can, they look after their children and they look after each other.

I say it has been a pleasure because working with the people of our communities has been like planting valuable seeds in fertile, precious soil. Our approach has always been to empower the communities. By 'empower', I mean that we aim to put the POWER back in the hands of the rural Haitians, so they can gain control over their lives. This is the only approach that would guarantee the communities' autonomy and preservation of their dignity. For what is the point in 'Human Rights' if we do not strive to to work with respect and protect people's dignity? 

We are beginning to see the final step being taken by some of our oldest communities. We have accompanied them for many years, assisted them and watched them develop and grow. We now feel like extremely proud parents as we envisage the somewhat painful, but necessary step to begin to let them go and be autonomous. This does not mean we are cutting our ties with them, but rather, that we are shifting our positions to reflect their success. We will always be there to train and assist them.

I say it has been a priviledge because the people whom we have assisted have benefited greatly so far from our intervention. However, we are continuously moved and inspired by THEM. The enthusiasm they have shown, the hunger for change, the organisation skills they have displayed. It has been truly humbling to witness and we are extremely thankful and aware of the priviledge it has been to be part of these communities' transformations.

But our work is not done. Not all our communities are nearing the stage of autonomy, and even those who are still need additional support, technical training and assistance. We are committed to see this work through to the end, and to spread our methods throughout the region to finally rid this land of child domestic slavery. We know we can do it. Our success so far has proven that. And we thank all our supporters enourmously for their generosity.

Looking forwards now, we are beginning to plan and develop a new project which will be part of our model community program. We are in the stage of researching gender issues to create a women-centred project. As with all our other projects, it is important to take the time to fully get to know our beneficiaries and to hear what they have to say before we design any programs. This is one of our currents works in progress, so stay tuned...

As normal, our training sessions have been continuing in the foundation. We are currently training students to become veterinary agents in their communities. 

One of the important components of Limye Lavi's Model Community Program is the training sessions we provide to our community members. Here are a few photos from the veterinary training that has been taking place over the course of the last 3 months, in the Limye Lavi centre. All community members know the importance of their animals, so we teach them specialist knowledge like nutritive needs of different animals, how to check for vital signs of health, how to breed them etc. We spend a week on all the different species they have: Cows, pigs, goats, horses, mules, donkeys and chickens.
The training is attended by 2 representatives per community, who then go bak home as trained vets and share many of the things they have learnt. The Limye Lavi experts also have training sessions for animal owners in the communities to teach general care, feeding etc.
These training sessions are very important because animals provide security to the communities. It is crucial that they are well taken care of.

Veterinary training
Veterinary training
Veterinary training
Veterinary training
People of the communities
People of the communities
People of the communities
People of the communities

Links:

Dec 1, 2015

Limye Lavi quarterly report

Foreign visitors learning from the people of Ma
Foreign visitors learning from the people of Ma

 Main events to take place over the last three months:

 

-       Accelerated education program

-       Veterinary training

-       Cultural exchange visit

-       Preparations for ‘Skills for young people project’

 

 

It has been a busy and fulfilling three months for the Limye Lavi Foundation! Our model community program continues to run and advance in each of our 9 communities. We have been receiving feedback from our beneficiaries about the advancement of our various projects, after their training sessions with us during the summer. Our model communities keep going from strength to strength and we are tremendously proud of the work they have done, and inspired by their determination to continue. We are humbled by the knowledge that this has been made possible through our generous supporters who have given us the ability to reach the people in these isolated communities and to provide them with awareness and training. For this we thank you all for your donations and/or support in every way that it has come to us. Your help really does make a difference in the lives of some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people on the planet.

We have already seen hundred of children come out of slavery and return to their families, and we will continue to ensure that they remain safe and in education.

 

One of the main branches of our program is the Accelerated Education project. Through this, children who have returned home from their experiences as Restavek domestic slaves, have been able to not only catch up, but also complete their primary education, allowing them to reach the same level as their peers in half the time.

A new class started in October, 2015 in one of our communities. This class comprises of 13 students, of which 4 are girls and 9 are boys. They are in what we term locally as Level 3. Limye Lavi staff members have been present in the launching of this class to supervise the quality of the teaching and to evaluate the progress of the students. This work is still ongoing, and we are prepared to respond to any issues through continuous teacher training.

 

Another project, which is in its fourth week of running, is our veterinary training module. Members of each community have been attending training sessions in the Limye Lavi offices regarding caring for their animals. Animals are a vital part of the rural economy and their care and well-being goes hand in hand with the agricultural training we have been providing. Just as it is important to produce food for the animals, it is crucial that the animals can be cared for correctly. Animals like cows, goats, pigs and chickens provide farmers with security. They can rear their animals and sell them at the market when the time comes. Animals are also important in the agro-economy and play an important part in rural ecosystems.

Just as all the aspects of rural life and economy depend on each other and aliment each other, so do our projects. They all work in tangent. The reasons behind the Restavek system are complex and interwoven, and this is why we aim to address the root causes in such a holistic and thorough way, using education and agricultural projects.

 

The final event which took place in the organisation’s recent activity was a cultural exchange trip. A group of visitors from overseas came to visit and stay in one of our model communities. The eleven visitors were housed with local people in their homes and took part in the Haitian people’s daily activities. This type of cultural exchange is of great benefit not only to the visitors, who learn about the realities of life in rural Haiti, but also for the local people who form friendships and bonds with foreigners. This is a great help for the morale of the community, and leaves people feeling proud and accomplished. It was an opportunity for Limye Lavi and the community to assess how far they have come as they presented the program details to the group.

 

Limye Lavi Foundation is in the process of organising its skills for young people project. The communities are preparing to take the project on board, and training materials are being developed. We are still some way off meeting our financial goal for this important and creative project to be possible, so we invite you, as supporters, to learn more about our work and to help if you can. Even the smallest amount can make a difference. As the Haitian proverb says, ‘Pise krapo ede larivyè koule’ – Even a frog’s pee helps the river flow!

Music making during the cultural exchange trip
Music making during the cultural exchange trip
One of our model communities, the area of Ma
One of our model communities, the area of Ma
 
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