Just when the local population was starting to lose hope, a truck from the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) arrived in the remote farming community of Terre des Negres in northwestern Haiti. Inside were emergency food rations that represent the first step in helping farm families to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. In keeping with our Haiti Smallholder Recovery Operation, assistance starts with food and repairs and will shortly be followed by providing the seeds, tools and training needed to get agriculture going again.
"When my neighbors and I lost our crops during the hurricane, we lost both our local food source and our income. And when we also lost our goats, they represented our bank account," said Wilfrid Predelus, a member of the SFA in Terre des Negres. "Taking away food and the capacity to purchase it, we began to see the end of life for us. That changed when the SFA truck arrived with family rations as a first step to help us get our energy back and begin normal life again. We were not forgotten and for this we say thank you."
The SFA and its international affiliate, Impact Farming, are very grateful for the donations received in response to our emergency appeal following the hurricane. The generous outpouring of support--including a grant from the Deutchebank Foundation--means that we will be able to exceed our original goal of assisting 1,400 farm families in 15 rural communities.
In keeping with the SFA's agroforestry model, each of the communities we work with will construct and operate a tree nursery in order to lessen the impact of torrential rain and flood waters in the future.
I will keep you posted as the Haiti Smallholder Recovery Operation reaches more farm communities and helps them, as Wilfrid said, get their energy back.