This year marks the 20th Anniversary of our partnership with the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center near Gros Morne, Haiti. We will be celebrating the year with a delegation to Haiti in August - more details will be forthcoming once dates have been selected.
Over the past 20 years, the program has grown from a modest effort to forestall land erosion along the highway by reforesting adjacent hillsides, to a holistic program of sustainable agriculture that reaches communities throughout the region. We will be telling the story of the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center throughout the year. Today we begin by simply sharing an update from the final quarter of work at the Center in 2018, which demonstrates the broad scope and creative efforts of the team in Gros Morne.
Some program highlights from the final three months of the year include:
- In the last quarter 19,500 trees (including, coffee, lime, and avocado) were delivered for planting.
- A weekly radio program was broadcast, titled The Earth is Our Mother, meant to educate people on key environmental themes. Important issues covered in recent months were the impact of plastic waste on the environment, especially rivers and oceans, and discussion of the health impacts of trash on people and animals in the area.
- Trainings with a peasant organization [OTADB7MGM] in Moulen/Baden on soil conservation, and the establishment of a satellite nursery for saplings, with emphasis on trees whose produce can be monetized (lime and avocado).
- Planting of weevil-resistant sweet potatoes with 23 families, covering over 42 acres.
- Harvesting of the parish garden, which was down this year because of lack of rain. However, the garden has become self-sufficient in seed production.
- Meetings with people who live near the forest on Tet Mon (original site of reforestation program) to discuss the importance of the forest for the community, and also to provide agricultural tools to the forest’s neighbors.
- Expansion of the seed bank, with distribution to nine new families for a total of 25 families served this quarter.
- Expansion of courtyard garden program to 27 families.
- 20 trainings for “reinforcing” groups that help manage local programs on production, formation and economic management.
The work that is animated from the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center continues to thrive under the creative management of Guy-Marie and Méléus Téligène, and is supported by the outreach director Marcel Garçon, who brings the program to communities throughout the region. We are continually inspired by their efforts, as we are by your ongoing support for the program.