Haiti team core group with UNDH-H Vice Rector
Dear Supporters and friends,
In this 10th report on our project we focus on recent events concerning the earth’s climate and how that relates to Haiti, PPAF and our colleagues. In addition to the paragraphs below and the attached materials, please see the many photos on our website at www.ppafoundation.org/gallery.html.
Note: In Haiti right now there are street protests against the government, the shortage of petrol and the rising prices. We are working with talented and committed Haitian colleagues. They are suffering but continuing as best they can, and they deserve our support.
Climate is indeed the major issue of our day. Everywhere around us, people are becoming more aware of the increasing danger to our planet from climate change. We are coming to realize that human activity is a major driver of this and it is human actions that must limit the damage.
In September the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, including a section on low lying islands and coasts. The report examined the implications of climate change for employment, health, poverty, food security, budgets and investments in those areas. It highlighted the effects of current international trends and urged that more action be taken to reduce risks and create climate resiliency. At around the same date the UN Secretary-General convened a Climate Action Summit, to open this year’s General Assembly. Its purpose: to advance efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so as to try to control the rise in global temperatures.
What does climate have to do with Haiti, PPAF and our colleagues? Haiti is a small country with problems well described in that IPCC report. In addition, severe shortage of petroleum fuel is one of the main reasons for the road blockages and anti-government demonstrations that have been growing for many months. PPAF and collaborating organizations are not large, but what we seek to create can be important to the people we work with. As the IPCC report says, every action counts.
Haitian families’ heavy reliance on charcoal for cooking has environmental, health and economic consequences consistent with those at the global scale. Greater public awareness and actions are needed in Haiti as elsewhere to shift to renewable sources of energy, reduce toxic emissions, and reclaim the land.
Through the current GlobalGiving project PPAF and colleagues are advancing solar and biogas cooking and biodigester fertilizer at the Université Notre Dame d’Haiti at Hinche (UNDH-H) and elsewhere in Haiti, promoting youthful entrepreneurship for baking and sewing at the Art Creation Foundation for Children in Jacmel, and conducting advocacy at the United Nations and elsewhere in the USA.
PPAF and colleagues were glad to see the Vice Rector of Université Notre Dame d’Haiti-Hinche (UNDH-H) when he visited New York, attended an annual get-together of friends of Solar Cookers International, and joined Haiti team members in a solar and biogas-cooked lunch at the farm of a collaborator. We discussed the team’s first year experiences in the course we had initiated at Hinche, and future plans for field work and for a new round of classes.
In Jacmel the baking and sewing classes of the Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC) Young Entrepreneurs program have shown very good progress. Accordingly PPAF has renewed its support for a second round of 20 weeks starting in October. This includes a second level of training for the five students in the sewing class and a new group of six students in the baking class.
Our colleague Rose (head of KDCK and consultant to UNDH-H) went for a two week assignment in Haiti to conduct monitoring and promotions. In Hinche she worked with: students from the course the team has supported, the faculty leader of the course, the campus cook, community members who have been using solar cookers, and with a student who had gotten a biodigester installed at his home. She also sold Haines.1 solar cookers to several university students. In Jacmel Rose introduced solar cooking to the baking class PPAF supports at ACFFC. She got a warm welcome from students, the teacher and the Executive Director. Rose showed how solar cookers function and students were able to experiment as well.
Dear friends, all these efforts rely on the support and encouragement that you continue to give to PPAF. Your donations are making good work possible. Thank you!
Baking class & teacher at ACFFC
Rose cooking on solar oven
UNDH-H student with his own biodigester