Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fall Newsletter

Hope you enjoyed reading Fall newsletter of the Lambi Fund of Haiti, packed with news and info from Haiti. Thanks to all of you who sent year-end donations and are making a difference in Haiti!
If you have not yet sent a gift, this is your last chance to send a tax deductible donation that will help support self-sustaining community organizations in Haiti.

You can click here and make a credit card donation now.

Or you can send a check dated 12/31/2009 to Lambi Fund of Haiti, PO Box 18955, Washington DC 20036.

Pase yon bon lane! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Meet Marie

As a supporter of the Lambi Fund of Haiti, you know all too well about poverty in Haiti - where almost three in every four people are living on less than $2 a day.

The effects of such poverty are devastating to families like Marie's, a single mother of four, who could barely eke out a living for her family.
Marie's fortunes changed, however, when her community organization launched a goat breeding program with the Lambi Fund's support.

The Lambi Fund provided funds for Marie's community group to purchase 132 goats, materials for the goat enclosures, and veterinary medicine for treating the goats. Organization members built the pens, and now are managing the project of raising and selling the goats.

With goats to raise for sale, Marie is now able to make a living and provide food, health care, and education for her family.

At Lambi Fund, we don't give food aid, we partner with community organizations like Marie's to build their capacity with tools, seeds, livestock and knowhow. We work together to build lasting solutions to poverty and hunger, with dignity and respect. Click here to donate now.

People like you make all this possible, giving the funds necessary to provide Haitian organizations with the resources they need to build sustainable community enterprises. As a result:
  • More communities are able to feed their families and send their children to school.
  • New rainwater cisterns are improving the health of entire communities with access to safe drinking water.
  • Organic planting methods are improving the nutrient content of food while stabilizing the soil and minimizing erosion.
  • Reforestation projects are reversing an alarming trend of forest destruction that threatens further damage to the earth.
  • Thousands of people are learning the skills they need to for self-sufficient communities.
  • Micro-credit funds are financing successful community-run micro-enterprises.
With your past support, Lambi Fund has partnered with community groups on more than 175 projects and touched more than a million lives in Haiti in the past 15 years.
That's why I'm asking you to please make a donation to the Lambi Fund today, so that we can continue to bring hope and opportunity to families in Haiti.

On behalf of families like Marie's, and all those seeking hope in Haiti, please accept our heartfelt thanks for your support.


Karen Ashmore
Executive Director

Five Ways Your Gift to Lambi Fund Makes a Difference
1. Promote self-sufficiency and economic strength among Haiti's poor.
2. Help create a fertile ground for democracy.
3. Help stamp out malnutrition by sustaining rural communities
4. End deforestation and promote care of the earth.
5. Teach proper farming methods that diminish erosion
Thank you for helping make a difference in Haiti!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Gift Catalog

This holiday season, you can make a donation to the Lambi Fund of Haiti in honor of someone special. See our gift catalog at

By buying the items listed here, as well as in our complete gift catalog, you're making a symbolic purchase of the types of things rural Haitian community organizations need to build sustainable economic progress.

Here are some samples from our gift catalog, but you can click here to see all 20 items.

Tree Seedlings: $22
Green is Great
The Lambi Fund of Haiti is passionate about the environment, and believes that deforestation has critical impacts on food security and the environment. Haiti, described by the United Nations as "one of the most degraded countries in the world," suffered epic levels of flooding from recent hurricanes, which were exacerbated by severe soil erosion and deforestation.

Your gift will purchase one tree seedling, train local farmers on proper tree care, and plant and nurture the tree seedling until it has become properly substantiated.

To make a gift of tree seedlings, click here, enter $22 in the amount field and tree seedlings in the comments field.

Seeds: $50
Seeds for Tomorrow
The food crisis in Haiti is an urgent plea for more food. A seed bank enables Haitian communities to plant inexpensive, high-quality seeds and grow food to feed their families sustainably for years. Farmers have had to buy seeds at triple the cost of what they can earn from their crops.

Your gift will provide community members seeds for an organic seed bank and provide sustainable agriculture training, empowering Haitians to provide food for their families and increasing food security.

To make a gift of seeds, click here, enter $50 in the amount field and seeds in the comments field.

Goats: $100

The gift of a goat is a sustainable way to help a struggling family in Haiti. Goat breeding can be a pathway out of poverty. Goats can thrive on just about anything - even grass and leaves on the dry land in rural Haiti - so there is little cost for their upkeep. Goat meat is a popular food in Haiti, so there is a strong demand at the local market. Goats often have two or three kids a year, so a community organization that wants to start a self-sufficient goat breeding enterprise can see immediate success.

To make a gift of a goat, click here, enter $100 in the amount field and goat in the comments field.

Support Women: $500
When Women Win, We All Win
Women make up 70% of the world's poor and produce 80% of the developing world's food, yet they own less than 1% of the world's land. Sadly, this rings true in Haiti. Lambi Fund understands that economic progress in Haiti cannot be achieved without the help of women. Women are overlooked by government programs, receive lower wages, and have fewer opportunities for education.

Your gift to support women will pay for leadership, organizational, and technical training to women. This enables women to become leaders in their organizations and communities, and builds a lasting foundation for gender equity.

To make a gift to support women in Haiti, click here, enter $500 in the amount field and for women's programs in the comments field.

After making your contribution, don't forget to print out Lambi Fund gift cards to let your loved ones know about the gift you've made in their honor.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Travel to Haiti

Travel to Haiti with Lambi Fund March 14-19 and see firsthand some of the amazing work being done by grassroots groups in rural Haiti.This is a life changing opportunity to meet Haitians face to face and hear about their struggles and how their community is working to support economic justice, democracy and alternative sustainable development in Haiti. Come see how our partners raise food locally and offer sustainable alternatives to food aid.

For more info go to

Sa je pa wè, kè pa santi.

What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't feel. (Haitian proverb)

While traveling through the countryside, we will meet with local grassroots organizations. Through Lambi Fund's support, these groups are creating small-scale sustainable projects that are making a tremendous difference in the lives of their members and their communities. In what is sure to be a moving and inspiring experience, we will spend three days in the Northwest visiting sustainable agriculture, fishing, potable water, and grain mill projects and talking with Haitian peasants that run these local enterprises.

Join us for an unforgettable trip that can change the way you see the world!

The delegation fee is $1500 per person for double occupancy (we will assign you with a roommate or you can pay $2000 for a single room). This fee includes all hotel accommodations, meals, transportation within Haiti, and translation and guide services. (Because people will be arriving from different locations, you are responsible for your own airfare to Port au Prince.

American Airlines, Air France, Spirit and Delta have flights from Miami or NY to Port au Prince. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance in the event of unforeseen circumstances). Applications and a 50% deposit are due by Feb. 1, 2010. Be sure to get your application in early as space is limited.

Please eMail Lambi Fund today to request a travel application!

"Our group had a wonderful trip and came away with an avid appreciation for Lambi Fund's work and the communities with which it is partnering. One organization in particular (an animal husbandry project) really made an impression -- we were blown away by the members' enthusiasm, energy, hospitality, optimism, and potential." (Comments from previous delegation traveler)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Design a Tee for Lambi - VOTING

It’s November and it’s time to rock the vote to help determine Lambi Fund’s “Design a Tee for Lambi” t-shirt contest winner!
Lambi Fund received an abundance of exciting and beautiful submissions from all around the world. Narrowing down the top 5 submissions proved to be a harder task than anticipated! After much discussion the Top 5 Lambi Fund designs have been chosen!
Click here to vote for your favorite design now! Be sure to tell your friends, family, students and co-workers to cast their vote too- ALL voting closes on November 13, 2009 at 11:59 Mountain Standard time. Don’t delay!
The 1st place t-shirt will be featured on men's and women's organic t-shirts in the Lambi Fund Store for only $25. Pre-order yours today!
See you at the voting booths,
Karen Ashmore
Executive Director, The Lambi Fund of Haiti

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Lambi Fund Celebrates 15 Years in Haiti

This year Lambi Fund celebrates its 15th anniversary of working with grassroots organizations in rural Haiti. As with any major milestone, this event offers a unique opportunity for reflection. Haiti country director Josette Perard sat down and talked about Lambi Fund's humble beginnings and struggles.
Lambi Fund began in 1994 amidst political turmoil and a coup d'état. At the time, Josette Perard and Ferry Pierre-Charles, Lambi Fund's current field director in Haiti, were the only staff members. They had no office and were working underground given the tenuous political situation.
"It was really quite hard trying to meet with organizations because we would put them in danger if they met us in Port-au- Prince," Perard said. "We were under a lot of pressure because the military junta was arresting many peasant leaders and members of community groups.
"Ferry and I were like mad men and women looking for a place to meet in town."
As it turned out, Perard and Pierre-Charles would meet with members of organizations anywhere they could—in churches, conference rooms, and cafés.
More often than not, Perard and Pierre-Charles preferred to go out and meet with organizations in their villages so as not to endanger their lives.
In spite of danger and fear of arrest, some peasant organizations remained active. Lambi Fund's first collaboration was with an organization in the department of Nippes in Southern Haiti. Because their needs were so dire, these projects "were about survival, not sustainability."
Lambi Fund financed four projects in Nippes: a community bakery, a local food store, a women's credit fund, and a tool bank.
Women at the community bakery would bake bread and sell it in neighboring communities, while the local food store was opened to supply products that met basic needs, which at the time was completely lacking in the community.

The credit fund was created for women to sell goods at the market. These small loans allowed women to buy and sell products, using the income to send their children to school, and manage their households. Given the political unrest at the time, many men were in hiding and women became heads of households, managing all the needs of their families.
Lastly, a 'rent-to-own' tool bank was developed, using four tool banks where villagers could come and rent farm tools at a nominal fee, with the fees going toward the eventual purchase of the tools.
These tools enabled peasants to efficiently cultivate their crops. This was crucial, as many peasants at the time were leaving the community because they didn't have the proper means to cultivate their land.
Once the coup d'état was over and Aristide returned to office, Lambi Fund was then able to safely establish an office in Port-au-Prince. Peasants' knowledge about Lambi Fund quickly spread by word of mouth. As a result, peasant organizations were traveling from all over Haiti to partner with Lambi Fund. Around this same time, Perard, Pierre-Charles and the advisory board met to discuss the future and goals of the Lambi Fund of Haiti.
They began to realize that the hardships that communities endured were not caused just by the coup d'état, but by fundamental, ingrained political and economic forces.
After recognizing the problem's systemic nature Lambi Fund members realized they needed to help craft systemic solutions. A sustainable development model was subsequently implemented, and remains to this day.
As Perard explains, "our method, our philosophy, and our approach to working with communities has remained the same because experience tells us that our bottom-up, sustainability-focused approach provides the best solution to overcoming systemic roadblocks to development."
While Lambi Fund staff first concluded that these early projects were not inherently sustainable because they merely addressed immediate local needs, an independent evaluation of Lambi Fund's work conducted in 2004 proved otherwise.
Three out of the four projects are still functioning today.
The bakery is still open and producing, yet locals are using different approaches. Members no longer make the bread. They rent the space and equipment out to other women in the community to bake bread for themselves.
The community store is still open, yet it has shifted from providing goods merely for subsistence to becoming more of a corner store (selling soaps, toothpaste, and common household goods).
The women's micro-credit fund has grown, and its funds continue to circulate throughout the community.
Given the very nature of the rent-to-own format of the tool bank, the project by design no longer exists. It would be a poor state of affairs if farmers were still 'renting-to-own' after 15 years!
It is from these humble beginnings that the Lambi Fund of Haiti has gone on to partner with local grassroots organizations to fund over 175 projects that have impacted over one million lives in rural Haiti.
"When I started listening to people's stories of crushing exploitation, I knew I had to do something. And when I started relating to them, I saw that these were courageous people who wanted to change their lives. They just didn't yet have the tools and the support to change their lives," Perard said.
This exciting model of placing the tools of change in the hands of locals has been a core element of Lambi Fund's work.
Click here to read even more Lambi Fund articles.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Design a Tee for Lambi

While some groups are cutting back, Lambi Fund is redoubling its efforts to support sustainable development in Haiti. We are working with grassroots partners in rural Haiti to implement many new projects such as grain mills, irrigation pumps, reforestation, fishing, and microcredit funds. How exciting that the continued support of so many Lambi Fund advocates like you has given us the opportunity to fund more projects than previously anticipated!

Now it's time to harness your creativity and do good for Haiti! The Lambi Fund of Haiti is proud to announce our very first t-shirt contest, "Tee for Lambi!" We need you to help us create a memorable t-shirt design encapsulating the Lambi Fund spirit. The winning design will be featured for sale in our new Lambi Fund Store, receive some great prizes, and enjoy all the notoriety and good fortune of becoming "Lambi Famous" (you will be featured in our newsletter and online). Click here for more information and all of the rules & regulations.

Well quit reading already! Tell your friends, family, children, students, and enemies, and get designing! Can't wait to see what our talented Lambi Fund supporters produce!

Have a happy week and remember, Lambi Fund wouldn't be as spirited and effective without your support.


Karen sig

Karen Ashmore
Executive Director

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lambi Fund's Deputy Director Receives Community Service Award

What a great day for Lambi Fund! On Saturday August 8, 2009, our very talented and committed Deputy Director Leonie Hermantin received the 2009 Community Service Award from the Haitian Diaspora Unity Congress.

She was honored for her outreach work in advocating for sustainable agriculture and reforestation in Haiti’s rural communities.

Past recipients of this prestigious award include Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald and Wyclef Jean of the Yéle Foundation.

This year’s monumental four day event in Miami included speakers and issues of concern to Haiti and Haitian Diaspora, with keynote speakers including Bill Clinton, UN’s Special Envoy to Haiti, and Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, the Prime Minister of Haiti.

Ms. Hermantin also participated in several engaging workshops about peasant-led reforestation and sustainable agriculture programs in Haiti.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Note from Josette

What a summer! The Lambi Fund of Haiti has been busy as ever working throughout Haiti's countryside visiting partner organizations and providing on-site training.
Our newest projects are in the Northwest. The Lambi Fund team is working with a group of fisher folk to upgrade their fishing equipment with new nets and a boat. They are excited that they will be able to fish more productively and improve their livelihoods.
Lambi Fund staff also led an effective training session with a large women’s group in the Northwest. They learned about water purification, sanitation and rainwater cistern management. Now, this community is looking forward to clean, potable water on a reliable basis.
Seeing these projects become a reality is a true pleasure, as is watching enthusiastic families working to transform their communities.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, as we will be busy working with locals to reforest the land and prepare for the upcoming hurricane season!
All my best,
Josette Perard
Haiti Director
P.S. Follow us on and for all the latest Lambi Fund Updates and visit for even more information on sustainable development in Haiti.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Haiti Reforestation Act


US Senator Richard Durban (D) from Illinois recently introduced a bill in the US Senate addressing the issue of reforestation in Haiti. Bill S 1183, the Haiti Reforestation Act of 2009, if enacted into law will authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to provide assistance to the Government of Haiti to end within 5 years the deforestation in Haiti and restore within 30 years the extent of tropical forest cover in existence in Haiti in 1992. In the process of drafting the Haitian Reforestation Act of 2009, Senator Durban's staff met with Lambi Fund of Haiti board member Jay Schoenberger to discuss our reforestation efforts. It must be noted that Lambi Fund's approach to reforestation is reflected in the portion of the bill which governs NGO involvement.

While Bill S 1183's primary focus is to work with the Haitian government, it also provides support for NGOs engaged in reforestation and afforestation activities. We are very pleased that the bill describes eligible agencies as those whose activities, similar to the Lambi Fund’s, support grassroots sustainable economic and environmental activities. As stated the bill will give preference to organizations which:

· Focus on sustainable income generating growth
· Provide seed money to start reforestation or afforestation collaborative
· Partner with local communities
· Focus on efforts that build local capacity to sustain growth after the completion of grant program
· Secure the involvement of local communities and indigenous peoples to protect forests in existence and carry out reforestation and afforestation activities

The Lambi Fund of Haiti is extremely interested in your opinion about Bill S 1183

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Notes from an Intern

By: Anya Cherneff

As an outreach coordinator for The Lambi Fund of Haiti, I was offered the amazing opportunity to travel with the fall delegation in late November to Haiti to visit some of the peasant organizations whose projects are supported by The Lambi Fund. We visited four organizations located in the southern region of Haiti: ODTPG- Rice Mill Project, ADZK- Pig Husbandry and Reforestation Projects, SASH- Bee Keeping Project, and TKL- Ox Plow Project.

All the community organizations that we visited had been affected by the recent, devastating hurricanes and all were struggling to continue their programs, in spite of the destruction they sustained from the flooding. Despite the recent set back, all the members of the organizations we talked to were overwhelmingly hopeful and positive about what the future would bring with the continuing growth of their organizations and their programs. Everyone we met was so grateful for the small contribution Lambi Fund had made (buying Apiary boxes, two ox plows, two oxen, a rice mill, etc..) With the starting platform Lambi Fund had provided for them, they were all able to successfully implement programs that expanded from simply plowing fields or raising pigs, to using the funds raised form their efforts to start micro-credit funds for organization members, mostly women, to start small businesses and participate in the marketplace economy.

Personally, I had previously regarded myself of a somewhat worldly traveler and was confident I understood concepts such as poverty and degradation and the extent to which they can permeate different societies, but it wasn't until I came to Haiti that I understood the extent that this could really happen. The Haitian people are trying to create a democratic society out of less than nothing and have been constantly beaten down by different ruling dictatorships, military regimes, foreign governments and false democratic leaders. They are on their own, with no support form the government and yet they have never lost their determination to pull themselves out of destitute poverty by coming together as communities and pooling their resources to create lasting change throughout the country. This is what I saw in the eyes of the people I met on my trip to Haiti. The indistinguishable drive to be successful, send their children to school, re-forest their bare lands and create lasting, sustainable change.

I am forever grateful to have gone on this trip and will always remember the people I met there. It has renewed my passion to work in the fields of sustainable development and human rights to see people with much less resources available to them than most, making the most of what they have and never giving up.