Eggs for Orphans
Rated on the Human Development Index, Haiti has the poorest life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living, and child welfare compared to other countries in the Americas. Food insecurity, lack of access to clean water, and worsening acute and chronic malnutrition are major issues in Haiti. Children are left at a significant disadvantage in terms of growth and development. This has been borne out in data collected by our medical teams who have held clinics for children in Haiti over the past two years. The data shows that 36% of the children meet at least one of the World Health Organization’s criteria for being malnourished and 16% of the children show signs of severe malnourishment.
The Haiti Collective is working to develop a comprehensive nutrition program which will target the most chronic needs within the communities in which we work. While we are seeking to secure a regular supply of food from organizations like Feed My Starving Children, Hope for Hunger, etc., feeding programs are not a long-term solution to Haiti’s food security problem. We must move beyond relief to development and self-sufficiency.
With this in mind, The Haiti Collective has launched our Eggs for Orphans project. Our goal is to give our orphanage children and children in our child sponsorship program a more nutritious diet by providing a sustainable source of protein (eggs) to them each day. Evidence has shown that nutritious protein can completely change children’s lives – their stomachs are more full, they are able to better concentrate in school, they are mentally more aware, and physically have more energy.
We could simply raise more money and buy eggs in the local market but that would just be more relief and do nothing to promote self-sufficiency. So instead, we have launched a project to develop a self-sustaining poultry program.
We have begun with a single chicken coop at our orphanage in Desarmes that will raise layers for eggs. We began with 50 layers and plan to expand the operation over time to include more layers for eggs and eventually broilers for meat. The operation in Desarmes will be a reference model which we plan to replicate in other communities. It will be a platform for providing practical training on the basics of establishing a small business and instruction for building and operating a self-sufficient poultry business.