Heifer International's long-term reconstruction strategy is continuing in Haiti. The Haiti Umbrella Project seeks to rehabilitate rural livelihoods and foster sustainable food and income security for 12,000 families between 2011 and 2013. Heifer hopes to make farming an ecologically sustainable and economically profitable activity in Haiti within its national post-earthquake reconstruction framework.
There are several sub-projects within this umbrella project. Goals include improving nutrition, food security and income of families through animal distributions and training; development of agroecological gardens; fishing and fish production; integrated agriculture, crossing with improved livestock breeds; a livestock and health campaign approach; agricultural diversification; irrigation; reforestation; soil conservation and marketing of livestock and cash crops. Heifer is also helping to rebuild or replace homes damaged in the 2010 earthquake.
Saintilus Rosine, a husband and father of three, is a Heifer project participant. He received four female goats, 50 seedlings to plant and a cistern to catch and conserve water from Heifer International. His four-mile hikes for water are no longer necessary, and he learned how to build a shelter to protect his goats. Not only that, he now has hope. "I have become more confident about my family's future," Santilus says. "I believe that my socioeconomic condition will change, thanks to the resources from Heifer. I hope to find enough meat to feed my family and some extra income to take care of my family's needs."
- Training sessions have covered commercialization, animal health, conflict management and marketing, animal husbandry, animal health and goat technical production, forage management, livestock management, new fishing techniques, livestock production and sustainable agriculture techniques.
- Shelters for animals have been built in several projects. Infrastructure improvements to the goat production units were also made in one project.
- A veterinary agent was recruited in one project, and Community Animal Health Workers were trained in others. Treatment for internal and external parasites for livestock was a priority.
- To help reforestation efforts, many trees of various species have been planted, focusing on farm and hillside land especially damaged by deforestation, as well as in nurseries.
- Participants are selling to businesses in the area and at local markets.
- Freezers have been purchased to help with storage and conservation and marketing the products.
- Equipment, including two boats, three engines, four coolers, one freezer, three scales, two sailboats, one generator, three nets, 10 trays, one fiberglass boat and nine knives have been distributed. Eleven families have already received new equipment.
- Forage production was used for the first time for many participants. The training has helped families learn the importance of good animal nutrition. In Haiti, producers face two periods every year—flooding/hurricane and the dry season. Participants have learned how to manage the dry period. In Bordes (the second communal section of Milot), almost an acre was planted with drought-resistant forage: elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) and sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum).
- Construction was completed on 57 new houses and 31 that had already been started. A total of 110 houses have been built in Ivoire, and 143 have been built or repaired at Saut Mathuring Peasant Organization.
- Every year producers wait on the government to help start the bean-planting season. Most of the time the seeds they get are low-quality. High-quality seeds were distributed to the families and a seed bank was established for the first time in Milot, allowing producers to find seeds in time for their planting seasons.
- During this period, 20 women were trained in fruit processing, organized a fruit-processing unit to produce and sell their products and plan to join the National Network for Fruit Processing (ANATRAF), which offers several advantages, such as low-price materials, training, access to the market, quality control and the ANATRAF logo, among others.