Goats: Help Families Become Self-Sufficient

by Lambi Fund of Haiti
Goats: Help Families Become Self-Sufficient

Since the earthquake last year, Lambi has provided $90,000 USD (8,730,000 Haitian gourdes @ 97HTG/$1 USD) to small farmers and women-led projects to help them resume their economic activities.  These funds allowed the small farmers to resume production of fast-growing crops (some of which have already matured and harvested) and assisted  women-led organizations in replacing merchandise that was lost during the earthquake. A total of 478 members of grassroots organizations have benefitted from this program: 352 farmers and 126 women from organizations across the rural south.  

As a result of the earthquake, several organizations had irrigation systems and potable water systems damaged. There have been many difficulties in these areas for organization members to get potable water.  Members usually walk more than 1 hour to find water from 2-3 sources that have been channeled in the areas.  At times, there is a lot of fighting at these locations because the people are desperate to get water to bring back to their families.

Lambi Fund’s Regional Monitors sat down with several of those organizations who were victims of the earthquake in Okay. The goal was set to provide water towers for the organizations that were most severely affected by this problem, as this system was the most expedient to implement and most cost-effective at that time.  These towers collect rain water to be filtered for drinking and everyday use.  Since Lambi did not have enough funds to dedicate to this project to each organization, the monitors chose only 2 among them to have benefit for a total cost of $30,000 for 20 water towers.  The 2 organizations were RPP and AFGDL.  RPP was provided with 12 water towers and AFGDL 8.  Each water tower holds 1000 gallons each.  More than 300 members of the 2 organizations will have access to the water from the towers. Some of the towers are already in place today and are currenlty collecting rain water.  The installation of the water towers is nearly completed.  

In addition, $22,500 USD has been awarded to 9 organizations to help their members with the reconstruction/reparation of their homes.  The plans are underway and will be completed in early March.  

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Damage Near OFJ in Chantal
Damage Near OFJ in Chantal

Once again Haiti is experiencing another catastrophe. On Saturday, August 14, 2021, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck at 8:20 p.m. This earthquake has left the population in the South of Haiti in another dire situation adding to all the calamities experienced in the last few years caused by hurricanes, floods and other severe material emergency situations.

Since the August 14 earthquake, the population of all communes in the South is living a dramatic situation. Many people lost their homes, many died and many others were injured. The latest official toll from the Office of Civil Protection speaks of 2189 dead, 12,268 injured and 15,000 houses destroyed or damaged. Families are still planning the burial of many other dead bodies under concrete. Many of the population in urban and rural areas never have the possibility of true sleep, there are many places where the population cannot even find water to drink.

Many businesses in the middle of cities are destroyed, many roads are cut or blocked due to landslides from the tops of mountains, many peasant fields are devastated, many animal heads disappear. Life has also become expensive in the Department because there are no basic necessities due to broken businesses but also because food aid cannot easily reach the Department. This earthquake shows again how vulnerable the country is. The Southern Department, like the rest of the country, is not prepared to live in these situations considering the situation of misery, hunger, unemployment that already exists in the country due to the socio-political and economic crisis that almost always exists in the country.

The Lambi staff in is direct contact with the monitor South, Saint-Cyr, who is also a victim, as his family home in Dori collapsed. Saint Cyr maintains direct contact with Lambi’s partner organizations in the disaster areas, informing him of the damage done to the areas where members of the organization live. In general, people have the same problems, they have family, friends who are dead, many houses, public buildings, churches and schools are destroyed or damaged, they lack and food, small traders have lost their trade, irrigation systems are ruined. The Maznòd Center, in Kanperen, where Lambi used to organize regional formations fell flat to the ground. This situation exists in all the South, Nippes, Grand’Anse. Part of the Northwest and Artibonite have also suffered some damage. 

Based on damage assessments received so far from the peasant organizations located in the South, Lambi staff has selected the organizations that have incurred the greatest losses and have greater needs of assistance as we launch this new Emergency program. As we continue to receive damage assessments, we realize that conditions are more serious than we thought. We have started to work most closely with 30 organizations. The number of individuals selected by the Lambi staff from each organization varies with the damage recorded in each association. But on average we are working with about 50 people in each organization.

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The months of December 2020 and January 2021 were quite busy for the members of Asosyasyon Fanm Vanyan Fyevil (Fyevil Association of Courageous Women). Our Regional Monitor worked closely with the management committee of AFVF along with 2 two of their previously contractaed Veterinarians to evaluate the progress of this project and their goats. Approximately 21 members participated in these meetings where they discussed the following: 
  • Difficulties they faced in acquiring essential medications needed to care for the ill goats.
  • Revamping the process of distributing the baby goats.
  • Monitoring the evolution of the troop and how the goats are interacting with each other.
  • Necessity of reform in an effort to minimize miscarriages among the goats.
Based on those points, here are the solutions that the women were able to come up with:
  • The veterinarians will assist the organization in getting the medications needed that are most prevalent throughout the troop. 
  • Closer monitoring of the female goats that suffer more than one miscarriage to move them elsewhere when necessary.
  • More frequent meetings to be held throughout the organization to discuss, in detail, the distribution method so no one is skipped accidentally or feels they were skipped. 
Although the itnernal work was a lot, the goats continued to produce. There were 16 goats that were born in the beginning of this year. The original troop now has 216 kids born since the inception of the project. So far, 172 have been distributed to 120 of AFVF's members. Even the kids have given birth! 48 of the once baby goats already gave birth to 73 kids of their own!
In addition to their flourishing goat project, these women have also begun filling bags to prepare their seedlings for the reforestation aspect of their project. 

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New birth gives hope and new beginnings.  Although 2020 brought a lot of pain and struggle, AFVF pushed through roadblocks and saw success with their goat husbandry project.  They started with 99 goats (90 females and 9 enhanced males).  Within the space of 2 years, their females gave birth to 200 kids in 159 pregnancies.  

The organization was able to distribute 162 goats to 147 members.  27 of those members came back for a second round of distributions.  It is amazing to be able to share that 42 of the distributed goats have given birth to 63 kids.  Those newcomers have brought the organization's tribe to a whopping 362 kids!

These members have been through much struggles including the males getting up there in age and losing their stamina.  The pandemic also did not help with the country being on lockdown.  None of this held them back though; all of those struggles have been a learning experience for our partners in rural Haiti.  The experiences and newcomers give the members the ability to bring in income and contirbute to their economy.  

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Goat Pen
Goat Pen

Today, we are highlighting some of our partners up north in the village of Gros Mornes.  As of this summer, 180 baby goats have come into this world from the first set mothers that were initially distributed at the project's inception.  110 of those babies have already been weaned and placed in their new homes.  By the end of fall, 46 others will follow suit.  Your support has made this project so successful that there will actually be a second round of distribution once every member has received a goat.  This allows for our partners to gain more economic stability as their goats reproduce; they can sell them and bring in other forms of income.

That's not all!  The members continue to give their support and energy towards the project as they assist with the upkeep of the pens.  They also bring food to feed the mothers regularly especially when the lack of rain causes scarcity.  THey have gone as far as purchasing pastures for blocks of time to ensure that the goats do not die of hunger.  

While there is still so much chaos going on around them, they continue to take the necessary precautions to fight the spread of COVID-19 and care for these precious babies.  There is some light shining through the dark clouds with these goats. 

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Organization Information

Lambi Fund of Haiti

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @LambiFund
Project Leader:
Josette Perard
Port au Prince, Haiti
$17,015 raised of $38,000 goal
 
228 donations
$20,985 to go
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