The team from Iowa State spends a day at the Many Hands for Haiti campus continuing to grow in relationships with people and learn more about Many Hand’s programs.
Today at the Many Hands campus in Sylvain, we learned about all of the programs and initiatives in progress by Many Hands for Haiti. After breakfast, our first stop of the day was across campus to meet all of the Many Hands staff and devote some time to prayer and growing our relationships with God. After meeting all the employees on a more personal level, we ended our devotions time by giving each other hugs.
Our second stop of the day with Shelly took us down the prayer path across the back-half of campus. Along the prayer path, there were five benches staggered throughout, marked with different word associations. The start of the path was marked with the first bench, Relinquish. The next four benches and words were Protection, Savor, Shalom, and Restoration. These words were meant to help us open ourselves up in our relationship with God and see our true purpose in life.
We next learned that many Haitians must walk long distances to carry water to their homes. To model this, we all filled a big bucket with water and proceeded to walk the prayer path with the bucket. After this, I think it is safe to say that we all have a new found appreciation for our water and easy supply of it.
Next, we learned about the history of Haiti. One interesting fact is that Haiti is the only country in history to have a complete slave revolution. Additionally, we learned four reasons to why Haiti has become the condition it is in today. Firstly, France and Haiti had a treaty agreement that made for a massive debt to be paid. After taking loans from other countries, Haiti had piled up a large amount of debt that they did not pay off until 1947! Furthermore, political instability and large amounts of overthrows in the military made for a giant leadership issue. Also, the many natural disasters over the years have led to poor infrastructure and poverty. Lastly, the many spiritual and voodoo worships have contributed to the poor conditions today.
Our next stop of the day was to learn about the many programs of the day Many Hands achieves. The main one of these programs is the First 1000 Days Program. This program is for pregnant and new mothers and their young children. The program feeds the mother and child and educates the mother on how to care for the child and for themselves. After completing the First Thousand Days Program, some of the children go on to the school on Many Hands campus, School of Light. Additionally, Many Hands offers many programs for these parents on gardening, goat raising, and various other activities.
After lunch, we went to visit the goat farm of Many Hands. As you can see in many of the pictures, some of the goats were very little and newborn. The goat farm also has a big watch tower that watches over all three sections of the farm.
After walking back from the goat farm and arriving back on campus, the team did much prep work for our core project tomorrow. The project itself involves planting various types of corn and methods for harvesting the corn. We measured out the stake lengths, hammered in the stakes, stringed together the alleyways, and made sure all is set to go for core project day tomorrow! Stay tuned for project updates to come!