(100% of the walk/trot for Haiti charity class at our shows goes to this endeavor).
Haiti is part of an island in the Caribbean just east of Cuba and below Florida. It is home to 10.7 million people and is about the size of Hawaii (smaller than GA). My family has worked in northwest Haiti since the early 1970’s. It’s the poorest country in the entire world!
Most of the country is desert not the tropical paradise that we think of in the Caribbean. It’s a desert because as the people have gown poorer, the trees are cut down (slash and burn agriculture) to make into charcoal to cook on and open the land for crops. Most of the country lives on agriculture which is very difficult in a desert with no rain, or if the rain falls, it comes too late to save the young plants.
My dad runs several “food for work” projects to feed the people of our area when the gardens fail to produce to keep the people from starving to death. The main projects are road construction – all by hand with picks, shovels, and even tin plates where tools aren’t available.
Each road crew has 25 registered members and food allocated for 25 (each person working gets 1 bowl of cooked rice/beans for a day’s labor). Most of the time, 50-75 people show up and the food for 25 gets split up amongst them all. Even kids come after school to work a few hours for a few mouthfuls of food.
We have no idea what it’s like to be this hungry. This is not a fad diet or a “biggest looser” program. This is a life and death situation within Haiti where little children aren’t even named until they are 5-7 years old because of the likelihood of dying. Starvation is a very real situation.
The good news is – you can help! Every American dollar is $10 Haitian dollars. $1 US will feed 1 family for 1 day in the food for work projects. Skip the $6 Starbucks once a week, or pack a lunch once a week and send that $ to Haiti. If we all work sending a little, it adds up quickly.
How do I help?
Do you need a tax receipt? Send it to www.Plantaseed.org and list it under “International” – Joseph Loyer’s Haiti account.
You don’t need a tax receipt – made a deposit directly to the Famine Relief at Well’s Fargo account # 6353614370. All the money goes directly to buying and transporting food within Haiti for the Northwest and where 100% of the money goes to the food for work project.
Other ways to help
Participate in the “walk/trot for Haiti” class at our horse show. 100% of that money goes to the food for work projects.
We are looking for non-GMO millet (what we feed to birds) to send to Haiti as it is one crop that will predictably grow in this hot dry climate. People can eat the seeds and the animals can eat the stalks.
We’re also looking for primitive tractor/engine knowledge to go to the step beyond a man with a hoe. They aren’t ready for big machines yet. They need the knowledge that was between working the land by hand, and using tractors.