Club Meeting – March 05, 2015
Today our own Dr. Tom Fame brought us up to date with the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Haiti Project with which he has been involved since 1996. Tom brought to light that the work there is best described as a project to create sustainable economic development for the Cabestor Valley in Haiti’s Central Plateau.
Tom characterized this type of economic development as horizontal rather than vertical development. With the project not led by outsiders determining isolated needs but rather in a holistic fashion with the local population building on people to people relationships to identify and resolve needs identified necessary to build a self-sufficient community.
OLPH Haiti Project 5 Year Plan
Education was the starting point which led to the building of three primary schools for 1,000 students. An endowment fund was created to pay the teachers whose students are now able to continue to secondary school and vocational training. Hot lunches are provided for needed nutrition. To quote a student “You can’t listen to your teacher if you are listening to your stomach!”
Haiti Clean Water Project
Clean water projects provided a better quality of life and improved nutrition and the overall health of the community. Opportunities for vocational training are helping to create a trained work force needed as the base for a local economy. This training is not just in basic agricultural, metal work, carpentry and sewing skills but also in nursing.
Each year the community has identified a need and the entire community has focused their efforts to accomplish the set goal. Each step has built the foundation for the next. Extra cinder blocks from water project, renovate buildings which later become a Birthing Center or a corn mill. The development of health groups form the basis for the next major goal of building a Health Center.