Haiti Update - September-October 2018
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Double Harvest School – We are grateful to the many Sponsors of the students attending the Double Harvest School in Haiti! A contribution of $45/month ($540/year) links a sponsor with a student and changes the course of their life through Christian Education. And, as in the U.S., school was in full swing at the beginning of September. Early in the month, my wife, myself, and a professional photographer enjoyed working with a small team of Haitians to take the annual pictures (for both sponsors and students) and personal information of each of the 450 students. Over the years, members of this “Haiti Picture Team”have been trained in the art of photography and statistics recording and will be taking on this responsibility. Sponsors will be receiving their student’s annual picture soon. If you would care to make a similar investment in the life of a child, please contact us.
Health, education, and spiritual needs are in short supply for the children and youth of Haiti. Over 50% of the population live below the poverty line of $2.00/day and 40% cannot read or write. Public education is in disarray – costs are high for poor families; schools cover only 20% of the demand; untrained teachers affect the quality of learning; proper sanitation and equipment are missing. Our school has become a model in fighting these trends. From over 30 nearby villages, our Pre-K – Grade 13 students receive an enviable and state-recognized education, Bible classes, a daily nutritious meal, and medical care from our Clinic. We thank our dedicated Haitian faculty for their commitment to these students. Outside of personal spiritual transformation, a qualityeducation is the key to lifting people out of poverty. It gives families “Hope”, an ingredient necessary in breaking the “hopelessness cycle” that poverty breeds.
Agriculture – Central to the mission of Double Harvest is the establishment, resourcing, and implementation of best practices in agriculture and related projects. Were you to visit our mission in Haiti, you would quickly observe that, on our 200 acres, much of it is dedicated to large grain and vegetable farming. This has provided local employment and both sales and sustainability in food production, thus building the local economy. Now fully Haitian run with close board oversight, it has earned a strong reputation in the agriculture sector of Haiti. A healthy Chicken Project and growing tree seedlings for Reforestation are also part of this mission.
Medical – From its inception in Haiti, Double Harvest has included a Medical Clinic to minister to the many health needs present in a developing country. September and October will see an Eye Surgery Team, a Mobile Medical Team, and a General Surgery Team assist our Haitian medical staff in addressing these needs. This is in addition to the 80-100 patients seen daily. We are grateful for the volunteer mission teams and the compassion and skills that they bring to this vital ministry.