As I head into December and start the review of the year it is bringing back a lot of tough emotions as well as gratitude for what we have accomplished.
We have increased production, started a kitchen renovation that is almost complete and now have a line of 3 products to sell from Bonne Terre. (Lemongrass Tea, Luffas and Moringa Oil) However we lost some people in 2019 that really devastated us. It is getting easier to reflect on the ones we lost and be thankful for our relationships with them but it was a very tough year in Haiti.
Haiti is in political turmoil and has been for over a year now. It has be progressively getting worse as calls for the President to resign increases. Rioting, gang wars, gas, propane, diesel shortages have all contributed to deaths and an increase of cost of living by an incredible 25%. There is no doubt at this point that there will be a dramatic increase in malnutrition in the next 12 months all over the country.
Our city of Ouanaminthe is, so far, the only place in the country that has not been rioting and actually has all schools in session. We are right on the border with the Dominican Republic so there are some people in our city that want to see business continue so rioting has been kept to 20 minutes down the road in another town.
The increase cost in all areas of life has been very difficult on our budget for 2019 and does worry us for 2020. When I moved to Haiti the Gourde was 36 to 1 USD. Now it is 93 to the dollar. I’ve spoken before about how we really do want to become more and more independent from fundraising by growing and selling products from the farm while maintaining our commitment of minimum 1500 lbs of food to MADO yearly and I am afraid we will be set back a bit due to the unrest. Especially as there seems to be no end in site.
Things have been good and safe on the farm so far, thankfully. The kids have been able to come over regularly, staff has been able to get to work and we’ve had lots of rain so everything is growing well. We have been putting together our growing/ expansion plan for 2020 and are pretty excited about what we will be growing and producing in addition to what we have now.
In 2020 we plan to have BISSAP/JAMAICAN SORREL dried and ready for sale from seeds that came from Togo, West Africa. It makes a fabulous juice that has plenty of health benefits and is particularly special to me as the seeds came from a friend who passed away in May just 2 weeks after Witson passed.
Witson Honord Scholarship Fund
So far we have been able to help 4 students with their post secondary education. Our goal for 2020 is to be able to help all the students who graduated from what would have been his graduating class this year. (6 students)
If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund please contact me.
As always we are very thankful for the support we receive and are looking forward to 2020.
If you want to help us maintain the farm and continue to help people in Haiti we can accept etransfers in Canada firstname.lastname@example.org
(we cannot give tax receipts in Canada – sorry)
USD support see the link below.
THANK YOU and we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Products we are producing to help use become more self sustaining.
Used as a diuretic, to thin blood, and to lower blood pressure. Jamaican Sorrel is high in vitamins and minerals with powerful antioxidant properties. It helps lower elevated blood pressure, bad cholesterol and detoxify the entire body.