Monday, January 25, 2010

Haiti Village Spotlight: Kavanak

The village of Kavanak, Haiti is home to 1,100 people in the Grande Colline region, perched on a steep and rocky cliff. In addition to the normal crops of corn, beans and yams, the area is known for its chives, which can be planted once every five years and provide a good income at the market. There is no school in Kavanak, so children, if their parents are able to afford to send them to school, walk three kilometers down the hill to Meyer or Cherident to attend classes. We have been saddened by pictures we received of the school in Cherident that was destroyed in the earthquake and hope to help in the reconstruction process in whatever way we can.
Kavanak is not accessible by vehicle, and since the hurricanes of 2008, the conditions have only worsened. Several Plant With Purpose staff come from the village of Kavanak. A testimony to Plant With Purpose's compassionate and life-changing approach, these staff members are now using their skills and talents to empower farmers to make the most of their steep, rocky soil, create their own economic opportunities, and work together to build a better future.
We have been encouraged by countless stories of villagers in Kavanak learning to thrive in their harsh environment. For example, Mignonne Charles is a founding member of the Plant With Purpose group in Kavanak. With Plant With Purpose's training she has increased the productivity of her farm and share her new skills and knowledge with her neighbors, literally transforming the entire community. Additionally, Plant With Purpose's unique micro-enterprise credit system has helped Mignonne get back on her feet after the hurricanes. Mignonne Charles joyfully recounts, “With a loan from Plant With Purpose, I have bought some pieces of land. I have a lot of respect for Plant With Purpose in its effort to plant better farms.”
Mignonne Charles pictured with her baby.
After the hurricane of 2008, Plant With Purpose was able to provide farmers in Kavanak with bean seed to regrow their damaged crops and goats and sheep to boost their income. Despite hardship and unforeseen obstacles, we have seen great determination and transformation in the lives of the people of Kavanak. We have not yet heard how the recent earthquake has affected the community, but we are dedicated to partnering with the people of Kavanak to rebuild and revive their village once again.

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