île à Vache
île à Vache is a beautiful island that lies about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) off the coast of the country's southwest peninsula. The most direct route to the island is through the city of Les Cayes. 13,000 adults inhabit the island and thousands of children adding to the population. More than 5,000 children attend schools on the island that are largely neglected, and many children are malnourished. Being off the mainland, the island is a secluded paradise with beautiful communities, but is also challenged with neglect and very little government support. Elevating Christian Ministries has committed to a plan with havenpartnership.com to fight hunger and help bring continued Hope to the island.
Elevating Christian Ministries was introduced to the island of île à Vache. The need was great with 5,000 + children suffering from malnutrition and the location being the most challenging yet, but God has a plan. In early May, ECM was introduced to an Irish gentleman by the name of Damien who has been investing his last 15 years on the island building relationships and developing leaders. Through this relationship, began the vision of employing Haitians to build ovens, bake bread and establish distribution around the island to feed thousands of children daily. Ultimately, Elevating Christian Ministries has begun a relationship with havenpartnership.com as they have developed many Haitian leaders in this region who are ready fight hunger on the island.
A pilot program in two schools has started. Sandra Segin, a programmes manager with havenpartnership.com have been identified. Two bakers, John Défaite in Bois Bouton and Guy Dominique in de Nan-Roche will be employed to set the bar for the future development. John Défaite of Bois Bouton is 23 years old and shares his income with his parents and others. He will be baking for 170 students. Regardless of his physical vision issues, he works to support his family while inspiring to raise enough money to go to a professional school in the future. Guy Dominique of Nan-Roche will be baking for 197 students. He is 32 years old with three children (two girls, one boy). Guy has been a baker since childhood. He is a family man that works each day diligently to support his family.
John & Guy will be piloting these two locations over the summer, working out the kinks and creating the standard for the island. The goal is that through the summer months more bakers are hired and equipped.
All new bakers will be placed in a leadership program called Vizuon Pam. This program will consist of approximately 8 weeks of training in various areas like entrepreneurship, health & nutrition, self-esteem, and many other fields.
Logistics of break production will be ironed out, and bakers will become familiar with the established process. The hope being that from the initial pilot of 367 children that 6,000 children will start to be fed by September as school will start up from summer recess.
John Défaite in Bois Bouton and Guy Dominique in de Nan-Roche have been working hard, alongside Patrick Delice, ECM’s Haitian Director, evaluating ways to minimize the costs while ensuring quality and supplies for when schools are back in session in the fall. Elevating Christian Ministries teams are in the process of assessing schools and recruiting even more bakers for the fall launch. The goal is to employ 5 to 10 more bakers at the new school locations so upwards of 5,000 children will be fed at the start of the upcoming school year.
With the help of Arland Cajuste (ECM Bread Program Manager), the program expanded to serve over 2500 students in 9 schools across the island. In late 2018, with local support from havenpartnership.com the ECM team found 6 local Haitian bakers that were identified, trained, and hired to prepare the wheat bread, bake the whole wheat bread daily, and distribute it to the schools. Plans continue to expand the program in late 2019 to serve all 4500 elementary aged children across the Island at over 18 locations with 10 bakers. We couldn’t do it without your support!
We are so grateful for the partnership with The Fathers House to help fund the expansion of the program, if you would like to be a part of the the TFH Hope Offering we encourage you to give through the the TFH site.