Heifer International’s programming in Haiti is reaching thousands of families through our Rural Entrepreneurs for Agricultural Cooperation in Haiti (REACH) program, a five-year, $18.7 million commitment to rebuild rural communities and improve economic opportunities in Haiti. This innovative program will help more than 20,000 vulnerable rural families on a number of fronts including job creation, income generation, skills training and disaster preparedness.
Working at such a large scale is a great opportunity and challenge for everyone involved. Pierre Ferrari, Heifer’s President and CEO, has visited Haiti every year since the REACH project began. Following the earthquake in 2010, there has been great focus on and interest in Haiti’s recovery, and Ferrari has been accompanied on visits by institutional partners, donors and, this past March, President Bill Clinton.
Through all the high profile visits, millions of dollars pouring into the country, and concern from the international community that Haiti just doesn’t have what it takes to rebuild itself, Heifer sees otherwise.
Sustainability and Self-Reliance, one of Heifer’s most important of the 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development, is defined and measured by farmers, women, families, communities and all those we serve as being able to thrive after Heifer support ends. And self-reliance is alive and well in Haiti.
In July, Pierre visited the program again and met with women’s groups in Massaid who are building self-reliance. You can hear more about Pierre’s reflection on this experience and the real impact Heifer is making with these incredible women.