Trip to Haiti Focuses on Feeding Body, Mind, Spirit
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2009) — Feeding body, mind and spirit was the focus when the Taiwan Embassy in Haiti and Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund joined representatives of Food For The Poor on a recent trip to examine promising new fish ponds, witness a harvest at another, and dedicate computers for students.
The trip to Haiti also celebrated the move of the Little Children of Jesus Handicapped Home into brighter, bigger quarters – twice as big as its former location. The space was planned carefully for the 102 special-needs children who live there – vibrant colors, open spaces, and room names from both The Bible and fairytales spelled out in Creole above the doors.
“We’re blessed to have these good partners from the Taiwan ICDF and the Taiwan Embassy in Haiti to travel with us, and who also care about the poor,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “Together, we can make a tremendous difference to the people of Haiti.”
One of the first stops for the group was a set of six ponds holding only water and promise at this point – the 9,000 basa fingerlings that will populate them will arrive within a month. When they do, Food For The Poor staff and aquaculture experts will tend the ponds and prepare them for a first harvest for the community to eat and to sell. It is one of the sustainable projects that Food For The Poor is pioneering in Haiti to help mitigate the chronic food shortage.
The next set of ponds, part of a tilapia project, were ready to be harvested. Months earlier, the community had dug by hand the 80-by-49-foot ponds so that as much money as possible could be kept in the community. With fish-filled water and a sky full of clouds, the leader of the Fond des Blanc fishing community told the visitors that the “ponds reflected a change in the future for our children.”
“We’re grateful that you reached your hands out to us, and we are impressed that you would come so far to such a remote area to celebrate our harvest,” he said.
In the classrooms, visitors knelt by students to get a better look at the work they were doing. Food For The Poor has a goal of distributing 2,400 computers in classrooms in Haiti by end of the year, having already installed more than 1,500 in schools. On the trip, the Taiwan ICDF delegation committed to helping the Christian relief organization reach the year-end goal by providing more computers, helping improve the software packages, and providing training so that teachers will know how best to instruct students.
This is not the first time that the Taiwan ICDF has partnered with Food For The Poor. In recent years, it has aided the people of Haiti with generous donations of rice.
Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. We provide emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information please visit, www.foodforthepoor.org/
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