Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Picking up Momentum

The past two weeks, I've felt the momentum of my work in Haiti pick up. Things are moving forward. So, I’d like to share a basic update of what’s going on.

Stabilization projects at the Centre d’Agriculture St. Barnabas are finally underway. Right now, Saint Ange is building a new nursery so we have plants for new land we’re preparing for production. We’ve purchased seeds from Seed Programs International, based in Asheville, NC, to try in our student practice plots. We’ve rented temporary composting toilets from SOIL, which safely compost human waste, and we are purchasing compost from them to use until we have our own capacity to make it.
The new CASB nursery nearing completion
Throughout the month of December we’re installing temporary classrooms that will serve the school until we are able to construct new buildings hopefully by the end of 2016. We’re finalizing plans for a new pump, reservoir and irrigation system to outfit a well. This will allow us to increase farm production to support the center financially and to begin more test plots of crops that local businesses are interested in growing. Three examples are jatrofa, used to make biodiesel, morenga, a leafy plant with high concentrations of vitamins and protein, and sisal, a plant that was once a significant crop in this region of Haiti before synthetic fibers replaced the organic ropes made from the plant.
SOIL EkoMobil composting toilets installed at the school
We’re also preparing a preliminary scholarship program for students in the agriculture technician program. So far, thanks to donors in the Diocese of California, CASB has granted 6 half scholarships. Remaining students have filled out applications for scholarships, and we hope to find more sponsors in the U.S. that can make it possible to grant additional scholarships.
Eliza Brinkley, underway on a boat and underway teaching the new CASB English class
A lot more is to come in 2016 as the Episcopal Church together with partners like Fresh Ministries out of Jacksonville, FL, continue to seek the proper support needed to rebuild academic and administrative buildings, install hydroponic units, and establish additional farming services CASB can offer in the region.

In other happenings, I’m still supporting Earl Burch in his mission with the Diocese of Upper South Carolina in Cange, as they work with Ecole Bon Sauveur and many other ministries in the Central Plateau. I’m moving forward with Chris Ciocchetti and Maegan Daigle from Centenary College in Louisiana on conducting Partnership, a pilot, week-long academic course in Haiti in May 2016 designed to equip communities and individuals interested in Haiti to promote effective engagement and cooperation. Finally, I’m in the early planning stages with Reverend Carmel Chery to design a program on racism and racial justice for the youth in each parish in the Diocese of Haiti to use in their spring gatherings. This project is an extension of the Episcopal Church Young Adult Pilgrimage to Ferguson, Missouri, that happened in October.

As you can see, there are a lot of partners in this work. I’m blessed and grateful to be working with so many amazing people and to receive such amazing sustained support from friends, family and church communities back in the U.S.

No comments:

Post a Comment