In the fall of 2014 we had two important conferences which spearheaded activities for 2015. Both followed the same participatory model. First was the goat summit: on the first day we had 12-15 staff and leaders who planned out four stations covering goat food, goat parks, goat wellness, and milking goats. On the next two days about 40 people participated and rotated among the four stations and drew up action plans.
The second conference was on the heath of the soil and included A) adding carbon and compost from SOIL (made from human waste), double digging, cultivating worms for their castings, along with other soil conservation techniques.
During the first half of 2015, there have been trainings for the four Caritas technicians on an average once a week at Grepin and there have been numerous formations "in Place" out in the countryside where people live. There are at least 10 groups of ten families who after training received a female goat. There is one improved male goat for each group of families. This model of dispersed training allows us to have a much wider impact and reach many families who would not be able to travel to Grepin. The same is true about the soil conservation which was the Caritas campaign. More than 150 people have benefited directly and another 100 indirectly.
The other movement which has happened is that the parish Caritas agricultural program has moved from the small room in the rectory to the Fr. Jean Marie Vincent Formation center. The technicians receive weekly formation and participate in workshops with the agronomists out in the country side.
On May 1, 2015 over five hundred students from Jean XXIII primary and high school participated in a training session on reforestation at the Center and on Tet Mon - the Jean Marie Vincent Forest. The training of students is some of the most important work we do. The children enjoy working in the nursery, planting trees and caring for the seedlings. This knowledge will have long lasting benefits for their communities.
Thank you to Sister Pat Dillon, RJM for this informative report on the work in Haiti! You are all doing amazing work there!