Agronomy student working with families
Responding to the realities of life in Haiti – the extreme poverty, malnutrition, lack of opportunity for education and medical care, slavery, homelessness – has become more complex with COVID19 and continued escalation of inflation. Like others world-wide, our core programs have refocused. Ensuring health awareness, food supply, Haitian staff well-being, and concentration on what will be needed and what we CAN DO – thanks to your continued support.
With a sigh of relief, our Head of Operations looks out over the land Little Footprints Big Steps has planted crops on near Les Cayes, Haiti. Last night’s rainfall was exactly what was needed to finish sowing the seeds that will soon provide peanuts, corn and plantains to distribute to vulnerable families. We have been able to provide practical experience to several University students studying agronomy in the planning and planting of these key crops.
Back in the office, a sewing machine is being packed to deliver to a youth so that he can continue to practice his vocational training sewing skills and possibly generate income. One of the first things he did was to create child-sized masks to give to LFBS! These are perfect for the younger children in our Safehouses and for little children we accompany to the hospital.
We are also using this time to reinforce our team's capacity and effectiveness. A highly respected Haitian Child Protection Consultant with extensive experience and expertise has developed a training specifically for our staff. Two days a week, she works with our staff to teach and discuss modules related to Child Protection - Child Rights, Child Development, Child Protection System, Case Management, Juvenile Delinquency, Justice of Minors, Psycho-Social Support of Children. The staff will also be using this time to review and update all beneficiary files. A part-time Social Worker will be added to the staff to work witih them on the plans toward self-sufficiency specific to each family.
While Universities have closed due to COVID-19, this is an opportunity to hire our most advanced Agronomy student part-time! A welcome addition to our Outreach team, our Agronomist-in-training meets with each family to discover their experience, challenges, and potential and when it comes to planting food crops to increase nutirtional food security options for them and their community. He then develops an individualized plan for each family. Considering the frightening inflation and economic crisis Haiti has endured starting during last year's political unrest and continuing into this year's pandemic, we believe it's important to focus on sustainable food security options for these families, instead of keeping them reliant on food donations.
As much as possible, while keeping our Haitian staff safe, we continue regular connection with the vulnerable children and families in both local and remote areas is key to keep their capacity - and hope - developing. Before heading our, our team makes washing stations out of buckets and puts together hygiene kits and core food supplies to distribute. During the visits, they update file notes on the well-being of the children, activities the family is involved with and the progress of those involved in our Small Business program. Our nurse provides training about COVID-19, preventative measures families should take, and proper hand-washing techniques.
Thank you for your continued care and support as we focus on and strengthen the areas that we CAN DO. The number of lives you save and change continues to grow each day. Thank you for continuing to stand with us.
LINKS to the LFBS Annual Report and an informative news article about effects of COVID19 on Haitians are provided below.
Core supplies delivered to families
Sewing student made child-size masks!
LFBS staff making washing stations
LFBS Nurse providing instruction