Story by Jason Woods | Program Assistant | Heifer Americas Area Program
Photos by Heifer Haiti Staff
Heifer Haiti staff hosted the Community Animal Health Worker (CAHW) Orientation Workshop in Les Cayes December 4-6, 2012. The goal of the workshop was to develop a community-based animal health care system in Haiti through a training of trainers methodology, where workshop participants learned basic healthcare applicable for all animal species so that they can use that knowledge to train animal health workers in the field.
During the workshop, participants and facilitators designed a three-week basic course to use for the participants training sessions in the field. The course included a detailed outline on both theoretical and practical aspects, as well as finalized participant selection criteria. Participants also explored ways to make the CAHW program sustainable, which is a key to the success of the program.
Eight veterinarians, out of a total of 45 in the country, attended the training program and are excited to begin implementation. Four of the participants work for Haitis Ministry of Agriculture and will ideally begin to integrate what they learned into the ministrys strategies. Of the other four who attended the workshop, two work for Humane Society International, one for Haiti Broilers and one for Heifer Haiti.
By the end of February, the veterinarians will have trained the first group of animal health workers. Sixty animal health workers will be trained during the remainder of fiscal year 2013. Each health worker will receive a veterinary kit that includes medicine and necessary equipment.
Dilip Bhandari, Asia/South Pacific program officer, and Edwin Rocha, director of programs and change management for the Americas, collaborated in the coordination and facilitation of the program.
This process is a key starting point for the start of the REACH project, Rocha said. The trainers will become a resource for (not only REACH, but) Haiti. The workshop is also a good example of cross-area sharing of in-house expertise at Heifer.