While Hunter and Andrea were in Haiti for the last two weeks, Jill Higgins and her daughter Ivy took time to fly in for 6 days to visit and get a look at several of the Aid Still Required programs around the country. Below is Jill’s reflection on her time there.
Fund a Jatropha Seed Oil Press for Haiti, Change the Lives of Thousands For the past three years, 1,000 farmers have been growing hundreds of thousands of Jatropha trees in southern Haiti. Why? Because the seeds from these trees produce oil so rich it serves as a straight replacement for diesel fuel. Yes, that means you can run your car, truck or farm machinery on it. Right now, Haiti has to import all of it’s petroleum. The jatropha program can reverse this trend.
4 years ago, Haiti experienced a devastating 7.0 earthquake that ravaged what is still the poorest country in the western hemisphere. While billions were pledged around the world to help the small island country left with hundreds of thousands in temporary shelters without access to food, water and medicine, what few realize is how little actually made it to the country.
What a year 2013 has been! Aid Still Required has seen incredible growth and achieved major accomplishments: In Haiti, we began our support and guidance of OADENN, a children’s mentoring and support program in the northern city of Cap Haitien. The program is working with over 100 kids weekly and provides everything from educational counseling, medical care, and team building, to safe places for play, yoga and meditation. Heading into 2014, we aim to establish a physical center for expanded programming, to increase enrollment, and to support more kids going to school and receiving medical care.
CODEP currently employs 600 people that support 3,000. These 600 are divided into roughly 30 sub-groups that work on different sections of the mountains. This year, CODEP is going to be doubling its membership. These groups also manage tilapia ponds. These are fish are used both for consumption and for selling at the market.