Goats saving Haitians from food crisis

Goats save Haitians from food crisis.

Timer LaVenture's goats are helping his family survive Haiti's current food crisis

We were on our way to somewhere else, but Timer LaVenture was one persistent Haitian. He wanted our group to see his success with the two goats Food for the Hungry (FH) had given him.

“We don’t really have time,” said our host, noting our delayed arrival in Belledere caused by extreme traffic in Haiti’s capital city, Port au Prince.

Timer followed us a few feet down the trail on which we walked. “It won’t take long,” he insisted. “You need to see my goats.”

We relented.

FH/Canada had given Timer and his five children two goats, one male and one female. The goats had reproduced quite a bit. Timer proudly declared, “Now, I am able to generate an income. Things are getting better for my family.”

Disaster strikes

A few months after our visit with him, it looked like life might get harder for him again. Starting this past May, the United Nations estimated that 1.5 million Haitians are facing a severe food crisis due to droughts and then flooding.

Haiti

1.5 million Haitians face a food crisis brought on by drought followed by flooding rain that washed away their meager crops. Photo courtesy Peter Clark.

What happened to Timer was, in the midst of a drought, rain deluged the area where he and his family live. Last year, this also happened, and most people lost both their crops and their goats to the destructive flooding.

As part of the community’s disaster risk reduction plan, FH taught the families in Timer’s village to move around the goats so they wouldn’t die in the floods. And it worked!

Rain washed away crops in the area, but the goats lived on – providing some families, like Timer, with income.

FH Country Director Bekele Hankebo said that food, like the crops destroyed, is available near the border that Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic. However, most Haitians can’t afford to buy it. People like Timer, however, have the funds to buy food, because of the goats that they bred and protected.

Helping all Haitians

Haiti Rabbit Distribution

Rabbit distribution is one of the ways FH Is helping Haitians during their current food crisis.

For those families in desperate need of food and who weren’t blessed with goats, FH is distributing:

  • Ready-made dried food rations (cereal grain, vegetables, meat, spices) packed by Something to Eat, Kansas City, KS (an organization that recruits U.S. church youth groups and other groups to pack emergency food packets for shipment to food insecure countries).
  • Peanut (cash crop) and black bean seeds for growing future food.
  • Rabbits for breeding. FH also trained parents and children to care for rabbits.

Learning to survive disasters

What a beautiful example of sustainable development – Timer had never owned livestock before. Now, he has several goats. When disaster struck, he had been trained on how to avoid losing everything, as he had in years past. His country is in a drought, but he has built a buffer around his family.

Thanks to FH donors whose generous gifts make this kind of success possible, and for helping us help others who are facing hunger as a result of Haiti’s current food crisis.

About Karen Randau

A native of the southwestern U.S., Karen uses her blog posts to put into action her passion for helping people be all that God intended them to be. She is able to do this through her role in the Food for the Hungry communications department of the Global Service Center in Phoenix in two ways. First, she helps people understand the plight faced by impoverished people in developing nations. Second, she brings light to the successful ways Food for the Hungry is helping people.

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