Marie-Lourde Toussaint, a mother of four, had dreams for a good life in Dominican Republic for her family, but ended up living in a tent in deplorable and inhumane conditions and in limbo due to the border crisis. This was a result of Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court in 2013 removing citizenship from anyone born after 1929 and not having one parent of Dominican blood.
Through the support of Food For The Poor’s Donors, the village in Artibonite was created to repatriate 156 families back to Haiti. Each family received a house complete with beds, stove, solar kit, table, chairs, clothes and toiletry supplies, giving them a safe place to call home.
Livestock and agricultural projects were established as a means for families to have access to nutritious food and a source of income, allowing the community to become sustainable. The village now manages two chicken coops, a goat farm, a beekeeping project and vegetable farms. Income from these projects is re-invested to ensure the longevity of these programs, with a portion being saved in a fund that is then lent to residents, at a low interest rate, wanting to invest in commercial activities.
A health clinic, school, community center and market place were built to ensure the village has access to quality education and health care, as well as places to safely gather and sell their products. All of this combined, allows the families to meet their basic needs in a sustainable manner, bringing back hopes and dreams to their lives and those of their children.
“I’m beyond happy today because I am now able to produce corn, watermelons, sweet potatoes, eggplants, okras and tomatoes in my own garden. We make enough money from these agricultural activities that we are now ready to expand our agricultural space.
~ Marie-Lourde Toussaint, farmer & mother of four