We strive to sustain communities by providing basic necessities of life including food, clean water, clothing, and/or shelter to individuals and families through local income programs.
Gotta Get A Goat
The community of Tete-a-l‘eau is in Haiti along the border with the Dominican Republic. This small village is comprised of approximately 123 families who have been displaced; forced to flee from their homes in the Dominican Republic. The majority were born in the Dominican Republic but as they are of Haitian ancestry, they are no longer welcome. Their ancestors, charcoal makes by trade, fled Haiti in the 70’s to escape the tyranny of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. They were seeking a better life for their families in the rich forest resources of the DR. Now, they are strangers in their “native” land, forced to learn Creole, and living in meagerly constructed shelters along the border not far from their original homes.
The charcoal trade has been passed down through the generations and the men now living in the deforested area around Tete-a-l’eau, are forced to steal their way back into the DR forests to gather wood. They do so at great danger. They will be shot or arrested if they are discovered. Unfortunately, they have no other means to earn a wage and there are many days when the children go hungry.
At the insistence of Pastor Pere Gaston, Vikki and Gino visited this community. They met with appointed leaders and learned of their plight. In conversations with the leaders they discovered that farming or husbandry is virtually nonexistent, mostly due to lack of knowledge. Charcoal making is the only source of wage they have ever known. Education is key! A consensus was reached establishing that a goat for each family would afford the community the opportunity for a small cottage industry. The villagers will be taught to corral and propagate their goats, and in turn, produce ample milk and cheese, providing not only a source of protein for their families but also a source of income.
Gottagetagoat was born!