Women preparing grains for milling
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.