The VFHI is proud to announce the graduation of our first Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) or Pathway to a Better Life cohort in February 2014. 290 out of the original 300 members graduated. This 18 month poverty alleviation program is directed by our partner Fonkoze, a microfinance institution with vast experience in rural Haiti. Nearly 3,000 women’s lives have been changed through this program.
Our second cohort of 140 members located in Gran Boukan reached its 9th of 18 months in December 2014. Some of the achievements so far include: construction of 75 houses, completion of all latrines and organization of a mobile medical clinic at a nearby public school. Early in the program, 321 goats, 125 pigs, 198 chickens and 24 turkeys were distributed to participants. As of December 2014, assets had already increased by 30%.
Launched in October 2013, our education program tackles hunger and education improvement. In collaboration with Mary’s Meals, an international anti-hunger movement, we feed 14 schools in the Central Plateau. Separately, we feed 3 Vincentian schools in Port-au-Prince. Daily we feed 4,200 students from Kindergarten to High School.
Initial results of the feeding program indicate significant impact on enrollment and presence. Prior to the start of the feeding program, 30% of students would not complete the school day due to hunger. Currently, all students complete the day even though 59% come to school on an empty stomach and 47% do not have dinner at home.
Building on the current school relationship, we are assisting in a multilevel participatory school evaluation process. Each school community will create a common vision developing a School Improvement Plan defining objectives for 3-5 years. Our efforts will focus on monitoring the implementation. Additionally, Vincentian charism training will be implemented for Vincentian priest schools in Port-au-Prince.