ECONOTES: EWI Newsletter

ECONOTES

You Make Our Work Possible

Miami – Ganthier – May 2017

Dear Friends,

Spring brings renewed energy to EWI and our partners. As we move forward with our long-term Talia Farms program, we are proud to be playing a significant role in the development of Ganthier and the Lake Azueï region.

Our farmers will now benefit from superb training thanks to the USAID Farmer to Farmer program. Women will soon benefit from the new Ganthier Maternity Clinic built by the United Nation’s Office of Projects Services (UNOPS). And two innovations Haitians have developed may solve the water shortage on our farms, and enable us to create a comprehensive database through use of a unique software.

As you know, Haiti has been hit by Hurricane Matthew and parts of our region suffered great physical losses but, fortunately, we were able to save lives through energetic evacuations.  As always, you have responded to our appeal most generously and speedily, which enabled us to help many families in despair.  For that, we are immensely grateful.

To learn more about our activities, please read below.

We invite you to join us in welcoming two new members to our Board of Directors:

  • Dr. Deanne Butchey, Professor at Florida International University’s School of Business; Miami FL.
  • Ms. Véronque Leclercq, MBA, entrepreneur, Monaco

Both have demonstrated a deep commitment to our mission, vision and values during the past few years they have been involved with EWI.  We are exceedingly fortunate that they are now part of our remarkable EWI leadership.

Most of all, we want you to know that your support is vital to everything we do, and so, from the bottom of our hearts –

Thank You!

Henryka Manès

Founder and Executive Director

TALIA FARM

The Economy

A participating Farmer in Talia Farms, Gros Figuier, Ganthier. © Henryka Manès
A participating Farmer in Talia Farms, Gros Figuier, Ganthier. © Henryka Manès

FARMER-TO-FARMER TRAINING – We submitted a proposal and were accepted in the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program funded by USAID, and administered and managed by Partners for the Americas.  F2F provides US experts in all agricultural and agribusiness matters who train farmers all over the world.

The first expert is coming to Ganthier June 11th for two weeks to train farmers in soil remediation.  We are inviting agronomists from other projects and regions as well to benefit from this training and, hopefully disseminate the acquired knowledge as broadly as possible throughout the country.

We will have the opportunity to invite other experts to address challenges such as pest control without chemicals; establishing effective cooperatives; transforming vegetables into added value products; strengthening our value chain.

INNOVATION: WATER – When the Former Prime-Minister, Michèle Pierre-Louis visited us in Ganthier last January, she met with local farmers and asked them what were the most pressing problems they faced. All said: “Water – without water we cannot grow food”. We have been looking for a practical, cost effective solution for years and, recently, discovered “Rezodo” It is the brainchild of the Haitian inventor and researcher Frantz H.

We invited Frantz to present his idea to 23 local leaders.  The session lasted two hours to give ample opportunity for each participant to ask all the questions they had. The system captures rainwater directly in the field and enables farmers to use it during the dry season.

The leaders responded very positively and each committed to meet with farmers in his/her district to present this idea and gather their responses. If the overall response is positive, we will work with the engineer and the farmers to install the system. It has the potential of solving severe water shortages, especially after Hurricane Matthew which destroyed the riverbed of Rivière Grise further aggravating the already dire situation of a persistent drought since 2014.

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Frantz H. Explaining his irrigation and rainwater capturing system. Ganthier, May 10th, 2017. © Rock Lamy & Ecoworks International

INNOVATION: SOFTWARE – MONITORING AND EVALUATING – Technology today offers smart tools to monitor and evaluate programs to draw invaluable lessons learned based on data. As always, we first looked in Haiti for the best solution – and, we found it.

We are investigating a “made in Haiti” software that seems perfect for an agricultural program like Talia Farms. It creates a complete database profile of each participating farmer, his/her family, the plot(s) of land they work on, what they grow, what quantity, what type of soil enrichment they use, their deliveries: when, what quantity and quality, and what they’ve earned. And this is just for starters.

Our evaluation process will rely on several components, but to have the ability to collect comprehensive data over a long period will greatly enhance our capacity to make sound decisions.

The Community

MATERNITY CLINIC- United Nations’ UNOPS built a vitally-needed maternity in Ganthier which will serve the entire Lake Azueï region of 250,000 residents. THANK YOU UNOPS!

Built a year ago, the maternity, which belongs to the Ministry of Health (MSPP), never opened due to lack of staffing and other resources. EWI has proposed an innovative model to resolve these issues permanently and open the maternity as soon as possible.  Participants in the initial meeting with EWI: UNOPS and the District Sanitation for the Ouest (DSO) responded positively; next meeting will take place in June and will include a broader stakeholders’ participation.

HURRICANE MATTHEW – Thank you to all who made financial contributions and in-kind donations to help our region and the southwest of Haiti so harshly hit by Hurricane Matthew.  We, and the communities we helped, are enormously grateful for your generosity.

As reported before, we sent thousands of dollars’ worth of urgently needed medication to the region of Les Cayes and to the Bernard Mevs Hospital in Port-au-Prince.  The hospital is Haiti’s pre-eminent trauma center where severely wounded victims are treated.
We also provided metal sheets to repair roofs in Marre-Roseau and Pays Pourri, mountain regions of Ganthier, where Matthew destroyed homes, schools, crops, and farm animals. In June, we will purchase goats to start rebuilding some of the local herds lost during Matthew.

 Marre Roseau and Pays Pourri, January 2017

Marre Roseau and Pays Pourri, January 2017

  1. The only public school’s roof is completely destroyed
  2. The River Grise in the Plain, looks like a skeleton: its riverbed is filled with silt and all the rainwater will be lost since there is no room for it to fill the river. President Jovenel Moïse was made aware of the problem during his recent visit to the region – but, so far, no urgently needed work has been done.
  3. EWI’s metal sheets are being loaded for distribution to repair the damaged house-roofs. © EWI

LIGA – A NEW, DYNAMIC LOCAL ORGANIZATION AND EWI PARTNER – In November 2016, EWI has encouraged local leaders to create an organization to promote the development of Ganthier –  and they responded very quickly.  By January 2017, LIGA, which stands for the: League for Initiative and Advancement of Ganthier, was a legally established entity.  For Haiti, this is equivalent to light-speed.

Its principal leaders are Ralph Lapointe, the former Mayor of the Commune of Ganthier and, currently, Founder and Director of the Patrice Lumumba Primary school.  Ralph, as many of you know, is EWI’s Principal Coordinator. The other leader is Molière Charles, producer and journalist at the National Radio of Haiti.  Both are effective community organizers and highly respected leaders. We work very closely with LIGA and will help support its growth.

ECOWORKS INTERNATIONAL

Concert of Haitian Classical Music – Mark your calendars, please! – Thursday, October 12th at 6:30 in Coral Gables, EWI will present a concert of Haitian classical music to promote the richness of Haitian culture and raise funds to match the OECD’s War on Hunger Group’s grant we’ve received for the treatment of malnourished young children and pregnant women.  More information will follow.

EWI: Yes, our new website is launched:
www.ecoworksinternational.org
Visit us and give us your feedback – your opinion matters.

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Ecoworks International is a 501c3, nonprofit organization working in Haiti since 2009. Our mission is: To grow plants, communities and prosperity to end poverty and protect our planet.

We focus on three sectors: Economy, Community, and the Environment. Our long-term, socio-economic development program, Talia Farms, is a partnership with small-scale farmers to identify their needs and use all effective means to meet them. We aim to have 2,000 participating farming families (10,000 individuals) who will produce annually 22,000 tons of organic vegetables.  We provide training, support, innovation, and marketing; and help farmers transition to becoming entrepreneurs and earn a living wage to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

By ‘strengthening communities’ we mean providing access to healthcare education and environmental remediation and stewardship while promoting women’s equality and youth integration.

This this is a journey, not a sprint. We are passionate about and deeply committed to our work. Join us on this journey and change lives of those who need it the most.

THANK YOU !!!

 © 2009 Larry Merrill, Untitled

© 2009 Larry Merrill, Untitled