Story and Photos courtesy of Heifer Haiti
On May 17, 2013, Heifer Haiti's Rural Entrepreneurs for Agricultural Cooperation (REACH) project surpassed this year's goal of training 60 Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) when a third group of 27 participants completed their training.
The project trained 78 CAHWs (51 men and 27 women), but only 70 passed their technical tests. Participants from all six departments where REACH is being implemented were selected by community-based organizations, local officers and veterinarians from the Ministry of Agriculture and local animal health groups. Individuals received six weeks of training, which were divided into two periods of three weeks each.
Throughout the training, participants receive 300 hours of training: 210 hours of theory, 40 hours of group practice and 50 hours of field and individual practice in their respective communities. Each participant receives a kit that includes basic medicines, a digital thermometer, syringes, needles, training materials, instruments in order to practice in their respective areas, a document with a list of medications and relevant information (how to administer, precautions, etc.) and veterinary tools. Practice in the field is monitored and evaluated by Heifer's veterinary staff and the Ministry of Agriculture.
"Harry Charles (a Heifer International veterinary specialist) and I are very satisfied with this achievement," said Hervil Cherubin, Heifer Haiti's country director. "We have much more demand [for the training] than we can keep up with."
In June, participants will begin the second section of training to earn an official certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture, which allows them to care for animals as veterinary assistants.
Participants' discipline and desire to learn made it easy for Heifer and the Ministry of Agriculture to provide training. Participants said they value the benefits of the training and are happy that Heifer has provided their communities with trained workers who will offer veterinary care, which is necessary for animal husbandry to properly function in the remote, rural areas of Haiti.