To help children in Haiti learn animal husbandry and have a sustainable way to help their families

The village of Merje is located outside of Port Au Prince in abandoned sugarcane workers’ quarters. The population of the village is approximately 1000 families. There is no land available for gardening. People do own livestock and graze it on public lands. Theft is a large problem. The unemployment rate in the village is ~90%. The only church in the village was started 8 years ago by Pastor Johny Philippe. He also began a school, adding one grade each year. The church is comprised mainly of people under the age of 25, with all of the local church leadership in their 20’s. There are approximately 150 children who attend services and school.

Rationale:
Animals are a vital part of the average Haitian family. They function as a “bank account”, allowing people to hold their assets in the form of livestock. When currency is needed, an animal is sold. The Haitian economy is being greatly affected by the worldwide economic downturn, making their struggle to survive even more difficult. Education in animal husbandry will teach principles of care and management that will result in increased yields of meat production for home consumption or sale.

The Haitian culture is steeped in tradition and animal husbandry techniques have not advanced since colonial times. The adult population is concerned with the daily struggle of providing food for their families and is slow to change their ways. Most of the adult rural population is illiterate and are more open to trying new techniques when they are able to see results. In order to affect lasting change, education is the key and children in Haiti are eager to learn. The local church leadership and others interested in animal husbandry are eager to learn and teach the children. By educating the children and providing them with a new method of animal husbandry, they will be able to show others in the family unit the benefits of change. Goats and chickens are small easily maintained animals that children would be capable of looking after and provide needed products in meat and eggs for the family to eat or sell.

Most importantly, this project will also incorporate biblical teachings and creation care, providing the children a way in which they will see the saving grace of Jesus in their lives and also, be able to take it home to their families.

Objective:
Using values established by Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM), which reflect the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ, provide hands-on, practical training in animal husbandry, creation care and spiritual growth to fifty 9-10 year-old children per year.

Goals:
Mobilize young leaders in the community to teach younger children in animal husbandry, creation care and biblical principles modeling servant leadership and Christ like attitudes.

Introduce improved methods of animal husbandry to increase community knowledge of animals and their care.
Provide a safe environment in which to house livestock.

Provide livestock to each child trained and each trainer.

Provide a sustainable source of protein that can enrich the family diet and/or a source of goods for resale that can provide hard currency to purchase items the family needs.

Structure:
The program will be incorporated into the school day. It will consist of weekly lessons in animal husbandry, record keeping and basic business skills using participatory methods which incorporate biblical principles and scripture. In addition to weekly lessons, students will start a forage bank in order to have an adequate year-round supply of food for their animals.

1. This is my work in Haiti through Christian Veterinary Mission, we are a part of Crista Ministries.

2. Donations should say SUSTAIN, Kelly Crowdis, CVM

3. Education is the key to change. By working through Christian Veterinary Mission I can help to change families lives for the better.

4. For a complete description of Give a Kid to a Kid click on extended information

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