I am the president of the Coordination of Peasants of Mark (KPM). KPM is an organization that has existed for over 30 years and spans across five different localities. As an organization, we have planted over 100,000 trees, built 31 family rainwater cisterns, and launched numerous projects in the community.
In 1999, KPM partnered with Lambi Fund on a reforestation project that produced 55,000 seedlings. In that project we were very successful—90% have grown into full, mature trees. If you look around at these hills, the trees are a result of that 55,000. Unfortunately though, there has not been 100% survival because we Haitians live under very arduous conditions. Sometimes, in order to get food, a tree has to be cut down to sell for charcoal—we have no other alternative. If this becomes the case, we try to stress that members just cut a branch or so, not the entire tree. This ensures that the tree can keep on living and producing for our community.
In our newest project with Lambi Fund, KPM is working to plant 100,000 seedlings. We need to do this project to progress ourselves. We live on this land and every time there is a natural disaster, there is major destruction. If we allow the mountain to deteriorate, the water will one day not find land and will wash us away. We are trying to prevent landslides and save our local environment.
Since seedlings are like kids, the attendants go where the seedlings are planted to take care of them and make sure they grow. They monitor them. A tree is your child, your future. This is an investment and you must protect it. When I walk in my community and I see a tree from KPM, I am proud.