Education in Safehouses continue
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.
Back in the office, we are taking advantage of 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.
We are grateful that the children in our Safehouses are able to continue with their education despite schools being closed - thanks to your support, live-in tutors (to minimize COVD19 spread) continue to work with the children currently in our Safehouses. Even as we undertake precautions to protect physical health, it's important to look after mental health as well! Those in our Transitional Safehouses - as well as their guard dogs - have enjoyed some refreshing trips to the beach after study sessions with their tutor.
While Universities have closed due to COVID-19, we've taken the 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 during the team's rural visits to discover their experience, challenges, and potential and when it comes to planting food crops to increase nutritional 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.
Informative article about impacts of COVID19 in Haiti: http://haitianalysis.com/2020/03/31/haiti-on-the-precipice-of-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR1-YbSjLDBevOGEierxpm9KuToajTNdrortTNKNFx5fLp-AexXuKcZ3vq0
Link to LFBS Annual Report: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5cf7ecc4996d630001ae475a/t/5e9782ffcf33283db1d96086/1586987780786/LFBS_annual_2019.pdf
Core food supplies to vulnerable
LFBS staff making washing stations
Agronomy student working with families
LFBS Nurse providing instruction