Updated: Feb 22
As Americans, the vast majority of us are blessed to have a strong, reliable food supply and the means to afford serving nutritious meals to our family. But in Haiti, there is a severe food crisis. Almost half of the population experience hunger and 22 percent of children are chronically malnourished.
Decades of systemic poverty, natural disasters, political corruption, limited access to education and financial support and lack of governmental services have all created one of the poorest and hungriest countries in the world.
Sixty percent of Haitians live on less than $2.41 per day (the national poverty line) and one-fourth of the population lives on less than half that amount (extreme poverty). The average size family has six people and it currently costs $3.70 per day just for enough rice for the family. So, with a little simple math, it’s obvious that almost two-thirds of Haitians are unable to afford even the basic daily nutrition for their families.
But, as with all of our work at Overture, and because of our generous donors, there is hope for our friends in southern Haiti!
Nutrition is one of the pillars of our Social Support Model. Our programs are designed to provide access to food to reduce hunger and food insecurity and to create opportunities for our friends in southern Haiti to provide nutrition for their families through their own efforts and income.
Here are two of our core nutrition programs:
Our community meals and hot school lunches provide daily nutritious packaged meals with rice, beans, spices, and vitamins. Parents and community members take part in providing vegetables, preparing and cooking the meals.
Our community farming and crop share program at ESPWA, provides access to farmable land, seed and other supplies to grow their own food as well as some surplus food they can sell and/or trade for other goods and services.
Our ultimate goal is to equip more farmers in the communities we serve (this includes our 10 priority communities) with resources that will expand crop production to meet all of their nutrition needs and create food security for their communities.
Let’s learn more about the community farming and crop share program at ESPWA that create opportunities for independence.
ESPWA owns 120 acres of land it utilizes for community farming.
That land is divided into six sections (one section for each of the neighboring communities). Each section offers an opportunity to at least 10 farmers to grow crops.
The farmers cooperatively decide the types and quantities of food they grow in order to provide the community with a diverse, nutritious food supply.
When the crops are harvested they are shared within the community, then any surplus is sold or traded.
Through our donor support, Overture provides these community farmers with:
Water wells, irrigation and water pumps to help create optimal growing conditions and optimize the harvest.
Plows and tools for tilling and tending the crops.
Cows for pulling the plows. There are very few tractors in the region, so most of our farmers use cows to plow their fields.
*watch videos in YouTube:
Scripture tells us that we reap what we sow. For our friends in southern Haiti, this is a literal truth. Their labors in plowing, sowing and tending their crops allow them to harvest life-giving, soul-sustaining food that doesn’t just feed their bodies, but also fuels their independence and dignity as individuals and as community.
Our friends Sanon and Moye, are just two examples of how our land and crop share program is making Haiti Stronger! They both have been farming rice for their community since childhood. Sanon and Moye benefit from Overture’s investment in wells and irrigation that help them farm more predictably and consistently to produce enough rice for their families and for their communities.
Thanks to our supporters, they truly are feeding the future and building Haiti Stronger, one harvest at a time!