Projects for Fiscal Year 2016–17—Part 3 (of 6)

BGR Staff

8. Haiti: Feeding Children in Jacmel

Our partner, the Art Creation Foundation for Children, was started in 1999, with the mission “to build a passionate community of future leaders, visionaries and dynamic thinkers,” empowering young people through art and education. A hundred young people are currently enrolled in their programs. Our partnership will help ACFFC maintain its after-school and summer feeding program, which has been affected by the recent increased cost of staple foods in Haiti. Children in this program do not otherwise have access to regular meals. Most would eat less than three meals a week if not for the program.

Since ACFFC provides tuition for their education, the feeding program is tied closely to their education program, and in fact the latter might not exist without the feeding program. Children who are hungry do not perform as well as those who have access to food, for their concentration levels are lower. Without the feeding program some of the children would not even show up for school, but instead choose to find other ways to obtain food each day. The after-school feeding program provides many of the children with the only meal they may have access to, Monday through Friday, and provides breakfast and lunch on Saturdays and during the summer program. Annually renewable program.

9, Haiti: Food Aid Program in Jacmel     NEW PARTNER

Girls with Plates of Food

The Joan Rose Foundation (JRF) is a U.S. registered non-profit based in Bloomfield Village, Michigan. Its mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable Haitian children and their families. In October 2010 they opened in Esperanza, Dominican Republic, serving Haitian refugees in the country. In September 2015, to escape the discrimination against Haitians by the Dominican society and government, they moved operations and 23 core families to the Bois Boeuf neighborhood of Jacmel, Haiti.

The Food Aid and Food Security program sponsored by BGR will be implemented by JRF in Bois Boeuf, Jacmel. The beneficiaries of the project are the 115 people that live in the community. The project duration is twelve months. The objectives of the program are: (1) to provide children with two nutritious meals every day, supplying about 80 percent of their daily recommended calorie intake; (2) to incorporate healthy eating habits and improve the educational level of families; (3) to lessen the financial burden on families while they settle in Jacmel; (4) to help the community increase self-sufficiency and food security by creating a community garden; and (5) to strengthen community participation and organization.

To fulfill these objectives, the project will provide two meals daily, from Monday to Saturday, for the children of the JRF community. JRF will also offer a training workshop to the parents about healthy eating patterns and well balanced diets and create a community garden.

10. Haiti: System of Rice Intensification in the Artibonite Valley

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This project, a partnership between BGR and Oxfam America, is the third year of a three-year program. It expands on two prior years of development work focused in the Artibonite Valley in Haiti. Farmers currently suffer from poor production, ineffective processing systems, and disorganized management in marketing. As a result, 80% of Haiti’s consumed rice is imported. The purpose of this project is to promote the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) among a new set of farmers in four additional crop blocks named Haut Zin, Potri, Castera, and Eroi.

The irrigation infrastructure serving these four crop blocks has fallen into disrepair, putting at risk the food security of the 1,500 farmers that work these blocks and their families. Support from BGR will help address this issue, and related needs, over the coming year.

The proposed activities to be served by the partnership are the following: (1) rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure serving the Haut Zin, Potri, Castera, and Eroi crop blocks; (2) support for the rehabilitation of agricultural roads within the crop blocks; (3) support for agricultural technicians to provide ongoing monitoring of and support to farmers implementing SRI within the four crop blocks; (4) support for the establishment of a regional coordination body to defend the interests of farmers in Haiti’s rice sector; and (5) ongoing monitoring and project support. Year 3 of a three-year project.

11. Haiti: Meals for Hungry Kids in Port-au-Prince

Haiti-boy-with-bag

This project continues our long-time partnership with the U.S.-based What If? Foundation, which has been providing critical food support in Haiti for more than sixteen years. WIF works in Haiti through its partner on the ground, Na Rive. Due to an extreme drought in Haiti, the number of severely food insecure people has doubled over the last six months.

A grant from BGR will support the Lamanjay Food Program in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Based on current prices, this grant will provide more than 30,000 meals for hungry and malnourished children. For many children this continues to be their only solid meal of the day. It is particularly important now, during the drought crisis, that children receive these meals because it is very unlikely that they will receive food elsewhere.

Stack of Plates

A large, beautiful building, which will house the food program as well as a school, was just completed with funds from WIF. The kitchen will be moving to the new site in the next few weeks. Now that the construction of the school and kitchen/cafeteria is complete, Na Rive will soon be preparing and serving meals at the new building. Annually renewable project.

12. Haiti: Education for Kids in Port-au-Prince     NEW PROJECT

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The children who live in the Ti Plas Kazo community in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti are extremely vulnerable to the pitfalls of the Haitian education system. Because their families are very poor, most are not able to afford tuition, and those who can afford it often have to choose inadequate schools. To help remedy this situation, the What If? Foundation recently funded the construction of a school–the Father Jeri Academic School–in the heart of Ti Plas Kazo. Construction was just completed in April.

The school will provide high quality education with a clear tuition and scholarship program that will educate hundreds of poor children each year and provide better opportunities for these children and their families in the future. Children will be selected for admission based on core criteria of need, character, and desire, as well as on their performance in previous educational programs, if applicable. Further, unlike many Haitian schools where the majority of students are male, at least 50% of the children at the Father Jeri School will be girls, reflecting a commitment to empowering girls to change the future.

The school will provide a kindergarten through eighth grade curriculum and will have up to 280 students. The school’s mission, developed by community members and leaders, is to build the next generation of Haitian community leaders. To achieve this, there will be a combination of high academic standards with teachings of respect, empathy, and civic duty. The students will be entrusted with maintaining the school and the surrounding yard. This approach will create an environment and space for transformation where the children in Ti Plaz Kazo can thrive and grow to become change agents in the community.

WIF East-view-school-2

The funding from BGR will enable the WIF to provide the components necessary for a strong school infrastructure, ensuring that the educational standards are high and that the accompanying facilities provide the best environment for learning. The BGR grant will cover the salary for an educational human resource specialist who will recruit and hire well-trained teachers and administrative staff. It will fund appropriate, comfortable furniture (including desks, tables, chairs, book shelves and storage) for classrooms and cafeteria to make the environment conducive to learning. And it will finance the modification of the land that surrounds the school to fit the needs of an educational environment.

The Father Jeri Academic School is not just the culmination of the Ti Plas Kazo Community’s dream, but also a symbol of hope for the community, and a true catalyst for developing a new generation of Haitians. Year one of a three-year project.

This grant was made possible by a generous grant to BGR from the Chao Foundation, for which we are deeply grateful. 

To be continued

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