Poverty in Haiti is fundamentally the result of a lack of options, as over 72% of the population lives on less than $2 per day. It is not that the poor are lazier, less ingenious, or not willing to put forth the effort to change their conditions. Rather, they are trapped by circumstances beyond their control. Think about it, the tasks most poor people in the Third World have to endure just to survive are many times greater than others could tolerate. They have to walk long distances to get water, while developed nations walk five steps and turn on a faucet. Or if you are dealing with famine, bad-water, epidemics, and a higher-than-normal possibility your child won’t reach the age of five, it is tough to handle your economic situation. This is damaging to the human spirit and ultimately leads to hopelessness.
To help lift themselves out of poverty’s trap, we’ve done the following:
Sewing Hope strives to create life change for women, helping break the cycle of oppression through sewing. Established in 2012, the program consists of 10 women being selected by the in-country community and them going though a 3 month program.
When the women enroll, they are taught the basic sewing skills for items suitable for sale in their local area. They are also provided biblical based training, building on the idea of complete transformation through God.
Upon graduation, the women are required to pay back the cost of the class in hours to sew diapers. Each women is required to sew 100 cloth diapers, which is their form of payment for the class.
Harvesting Hope is a home garden program, teaching families how to grow much needed vegetables to feed their families or to sell at the local market. MH4H has an agronomist on staff, identifying needing families, helping them prepare the ground, and then training them on garden management.
Each family receives seeds, tools, water cans or a drip-irrigation system, and garden training. We utilize formerly wasted space on family’s property, allowing them to produce in an area that once was barren. Through this program, we have been able to walk with families, teaching the life-lessons of hard-work now for a later pay-off in the form of food.