Despite the numerous challenges and setbacks brought on by COVID 19 and political unrest, we’re happy to say that both our school gardens at(with) TeacHaiti in Port-au-Prince and St Michel de L’Atalaye are “growing”.
The garden committee in P-a-P, (comprised of InterAct members) spent most of the months working to expand the garden and improve soil quality while the school was closed.
The students alongside Agronomist Norderne Charles, worked tirelessly to beautify the garden as well. The garden provide not only worthwhile work, but also a place of solace among the chaos of 2020. The addition of chicken and rabbits to the garden gave much needed manure for the new compost bins built by the committee. Students are served eggs twice a week and the additional eggs are sold to help defray the cost of feed for the chickens. The committee also tried it’s hands at producing homemade feed as well.
We had an opportunity to hold a garden usage training session with some of the teachers. It was gratifying to see the “light bulb” go off for some as they realized the learning possibilities which the garden classroom provides.
Meanwhile in St Michel, we were able to refence the entire garden area as well as create a closed-in forage garden for the goats. With the help of parents and some of the older students, Agronomist Gedelmy, garden keepers Wiendiuela and Arnaud planted plantain, papaya corn donated by Agronomist Gedelmy himself. They also planted okra, beans, beets and various other vegetables seeds, donated by the Orcas Island Jr Garden club.
Several students from P-a-P were fortunate to travel to St Michel to meet their counter parts and share what they had been doing at their location. They also spent a day working in the St Michel garden.
The 5th grade students from Orcas sent letters to the 5th grade students in P-a-P sharing their garden activities and personal interest. This exchange has come to a standstill for now due to the fact that students on Orcas are mostly attending classes from home. We hope to continue this collaboration in due time.
Progress was also made on the construction of the new classroom building in St Michel and our new garden classroom is now ready to be furnished and can be put to use before then end of the school year. The classroom will have a full kitchen, where the students will have an opportunity to use some of the produce they grow to learn some cooking skills and good nutrition.
A grant from the San Juan Island Rotary club will provide some funding for a water catchment system and tools for the St Michel school. The grant has also afforded us the opportunity to send two H.S graduates from St Michel to a Veterinary training school in Deschapelles. Upon completion of this program, these students will have the responsibility of caring for the school goats and provide Veterinary service to the community at large.
There’s a Haitian proverb” Piti pit zwazo fe nich” “Little by little bird builds it’s nest”. With these initiatives in place both in St Michel and P-a-P our students are building a better future for themselves and their communities.
Helping Hands Noramise wishes to thank all those who donated and continue to supporters of this work, without whose help this progress would not be possible.
We would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Naturopaths Without Borders, who had provided the fiduciary status so we may accept tax-deductible donations. Helping Hands Noramise is happy to announce we are now a stand alone registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. All donation to us are tax deductible.