March 21, 2007 Maniche, Haiti …We drove to a remote spot where there were a few shacks on the mountainside and walked to a meeting area where the members of the organization called ADZK were singing and clapping as loud as they could…I took pictures of the kids again with the digital camera and then let them look at them on the screen. It seems to be a good way to interact after we get past "what is your name?" and "mwen pa pale Kreyol" [I don't speak Creole]. I wonder how many of these kids have seen their picture before. Lambi funded and trained the group for a pig breeding project. They had 25 new piglets so far. A woman said, "Pigs allow us to live, that is the way we take care of our kids and all of our needs."… There are good things happening in Haiti.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Posted by Matt Kaiser at 2:30 PM
March 19, 2007 Chato Haiti Today we visited a peasant organization that called themselves Konbit 2004. When we drove to the top of the hillside, there was already a large circle of people sitting beneath the semicircle of palm trees singing and clapping. A woman brought a thermos of coffee and basket of bread for us to eat. The coffee was so sweet I think I became a diabetic after one sip. We sat and listened to the members of the organization describe their group's history as we slurped coconut milk out of coconuts that had given to us. A man said, "We wanted to organize and work together in such a way that we could improve the living conditions of our group." It was very powerful to hear the men and women of the group speak about how their lives had changed after the microcredit and the cistern and reforestation project…We drove to see one of the cisterns and the tree seedling nursery and the man I was sitting next to in the back seat didn't know how to open a car door. This was a poignant reminder of how different our existences are on this earth. One woman summed up everyone's comments about the projects stating "It [the loan fund] helped us send our kids to school and feed them, the cistern allows us to have time because we no longer have to walk 2 hrs to get water." The group estimated that because of the micro-loan project around 100 more children were able to go to school.
Posted by Matt Kaiser at 2:29 PM
By Matt Kaiser I was able to visit Haiti for the first time in March to visit a few of the organizations Lambi Fund works with in the Les Cayes area. It is hard for me to imagine what daily life is like under the impoverished conditions of Haiti, but that is not the story here. One can read a newspaper to keep up with the bad news in Haiti. When I boarded the plane to leave Haiti, I left with a deeper respect for the Haitian people, confidence that the work Lambi Fund does truly empowers people to improve lives, and hope that this work and its effects will continue to spread in Haiti. The following are a few excerpts from a journal I kept during our visit in March: March 18, 2007 Camp Perrin, Haiti …the flight from Miami took only an hour and a half. It's like the newspaper headlines I've read about Haiti have come to life, like I just jumped into the photograph of Port-au-Prince that was in the NY Times' last article about the UN in Haiti. As we left the city, the mountainous countryside came into a panoramic view that was absolutely gorgeous. Green mountains falling into the sea that reflected all shades of blue. Then I noticed that parts of some of the mountains were missing where abrupt white cliffs interrupted the continuity of the green hills. These were the sites of mudslides that washed away Haitian's fields and homes. This was my first glimpse at the deforestation I've read and heard so much about…The drive from the airport to where we are staying is unreal. The sights cannot be fully captured by words. The road was an endless stream of motorbikes, bicycles, children, women on their way back from the market, chickens, goats, mules, and the occasional tap tap, a small pickup used for public transportation with people clinging to all sides. Despite all I've read about this country and causes of poverty, it's still hard to understand how something like this could happen. I'm looking forward to visiting projects tomorrow and hearing the people's stories of good things happening here.
Posted by Matt Kaiser at 2:22 PM