Monday 26 September 2016

Clodagh McKenna's Haitian video diary: Model farm project is incredible and inspiring

Clodagh McKenna

Published 08/09/2016 | 12:27

Hi, Clodagh McKenna here from Haiti.

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We left the hotel at 6am in Port au Prince and headed south to visit the Christine Farm project.

Driving through the city, it was already mayhem, with buses flooding the streets transporting workers.

Alongside the canal, which was filled with rubbish, the children proudly walked hand in hand, with ribbons in their hair, immaculate uniforms, and big smiles, so happy to be going to schools.

Once we got out of the city, it was like entering into a tropical oasis.

Fields full of mango trees, sugar cane, avocados, bananas and venders at the edge of the farms selling the produce.

We stop to buy mangoes that I peel back like a banana and I can tell you it was the best piece of fruit I have ever eaten in my life, juicy and sweet. I ask our driver what is his favourite thing about Haiti and he says the rain, I was quite surprised about his answer, and so I ask, why? He replied, for the plants, the farms, this is the future of our country.

And within a few minutes we arrived at the Christine Farm project, a model farm that was set up in 2010 by Soul of Haiti, which has now joined with Haven. Existing farmers and future farmers can come to the farm to learn skills such as irrigation, crop rotation, and planting are just a few examples.

The project also helps fund start up farms, or the supply of tools to existing farms. It costs about €80,000 to keep the farm running every year, not very much at all, and when you think about the impact this project is having on the farms in Haiti.

I have set up a fundraising page to raise €5,000 for the Christine Farm project. This will go direct to the farmers to fund 360 chickens, 3 chicken coops, and chicken feed for 6 weeks. If you would like to donate here is the link.

Next I am off to Il a Vache, just off the coast of south Haiti.

Clodagh x

For more information on Haven and its work in Haiti click here

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