Food For The Poor celebrates Earth Day – April 22, 2008
Major tree planting effort in Haiti underway
In the severely deforested country of Haiti, major strides are being made to restore the natural balance of the island’s delicate ecology. Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has experienced a major ecological disaster with the deforestation that has taken place. Approximately 80 percent of the population is unemployed and illiterate. Consequently, a major part of Food For The Poor’s mission is to educate Haitians about the importance of protecting and planting life-saving trees.
In 2007, Food For The Poor, the foremost international relief and development organization in the Caribbean began an extensive tree planting program. Over 100,000 fruit trees have been planted in the housing villages constructed by Food For The Poor, providing a source of nutritious food for the residents, and restoring the natural environmental balance. Food For The Poor plans to expand the tree program by focusing on critical need communities, and anticipates planting one million trees.
In the town of Fosse Capois, 15 miles from Cap-Haitien, the planting of 10,000 fruit-bearing trees began on Green Friday, February 1, 2008. Adults from the village accompanied children from the local schools as they planted avocado, breadfruit, coconut, lemon and mango trees, donated by Food For The Poor’s generous donors. The day was a celebration, filled with music and dance, as the people expressed their thankfulness for the gift of new life in the provided trees. The fruit-bearing trees will provide abundant blessings in the form of welcome shade, healthy food for hungry families, and help combat Haiti’s massive deforestation problem.
Haiti frequently experiences life-threatening floods and mud slides because of rampant soil erosion due to the lack of trees. Haiti’s forests were first ravaged to fuel colonial sugar mills, and now due to Haiti’s grim economic circumstances, the destitute are forced to chop down trees for a meager income selling fire wood or charcoal. Food For The Poor believes that through education, people who have been ensnarled in generational poverty can be released.
Food For The Poor works extensively in the country of Haiti, with facilities in Port-au-Prince that have served to supply the entire country with housing, water projects, food, medicines, educational materials, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise opportunities since 1985. A major effort is underway to build fishing villages around the coastline of Haiti. These fishing villages are self-sustaining and enable residents to provide for themselves by supplying them with boats, motors, gear sheds, equipment, GPS devices and training on the essentials of deepwater fishing. The fishing villages provide an additional benefit – they restore the ecological balance, and allow the replenishment of the reefs.
All of the projects that are in progress in Haiti are fully described in the Food For The Poor Gift Catalog, available at www.foodforthepoor.org.
Food For The Poor, the second largest relief and international development organization in the nation, works in 16 countries across the Caribbean and Latin America. Since 1982, they have provided clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and emergency relief to the poorest of the poor across these countries. More than 96% of all donations to the organization go directly to programs that help the poor.
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